Chapter 3

India-Sri Lanka Relations

Introduction

India’s southern neighbour, Sri Lanka, derives its cultural and anthropological lineage from India beginning almost twenty five hundred years back. The Sinhalese people derive their lineage from Indian state of Bihar, Orissa and Andhra Pradesh, while Sri Lankan Tamils trace their roots to the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. And, the latest addition to this population stock of Sri Lanka, were the indentured Tamil labourers brought by the British colonizers to work in the plantations.

Same is the case for the cultural and religious lineage, as majority of Sri Lankan people are followers of Hinayana Buddhism propagated by emperor Ashoka’s ambassadors—his son Mahendra and daughter Sanghmitra. Another major ...

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