Sri Lanka, formerly called Ceylon, lies in the Indian Ocean and is separated from India by the Palk Strait. It is 432 kilometers long and 224 kilometers wide, and holds a continuous record of human settlement, which dates back approximately two millenia.1
The British East India Company conquested Sri Lanka in the late 1790s; by 1802 it was made a Crown colony. During British occupancy, there were various reforms put in place such as: the abolishment of slavery, paid salaries in cash, and a relaxed system of compulsory service tenure.2
Included in British-imposed reforms were the growth in Christian missionary activity, and the encouragement, by British officials, on agriculture. This encouragement led to the production of cinnamon, pepper, sugarcane, cotton, and coffee. From 1830 to the mid-19th century the production of coffee spearheaded Ceylon's economic development.3
Sri Lanka remained under British rule and as a Crown colony until 4 February 1948 when it gained its full independence.4
Mentions of this place in the documents