only a third of the story is completed, watch this space!
5th century BC: the founding of the first capital, Anuradhapura.
1st century BC: Tamils invade, and are defeated by the Sinhalese.
500 AD: King Kasyapa founds the capital Sigiriya.
1153-1186: Ceylon under the reign of Parakrama, and the Sinhalese civilisation is at its clilmax.
15th and 16th centuries: first Portuguese trading posts and introduction of Christianism.
Beginning of 19th century: British take over the island. King Kandy escapes to Mauritius.
1948: independence is proclaimed.
1972: Ceylon withdraws from the Commonwealh and becomes Sri Lanka.
1983: riots and curfews. Tamil Tigers massacre soldiers.
1987: peace agreement between India (suporting the Tamils) and the Sinhalese.
1990: Indian troops withdraw. Hostilities resume.
1991: the Minister of Defence is assassinated.
1993: the President is assassinated.
1994: Chandrika Kumaranatunga, Sri Lanka's first, and so far only, female president takes office.
1995: conflict lulls but a serious attack occurs in the centre of Colombo in January 1996.
1997: attack of Tigers close to a big hotel in the capital; 34 deaths.
1998: truck bomb detonates outside the Temple of Dent in Kandy, conflict resumes.
1999: reelection of Chandrika Kumaranatunga for a second term.
end of 1999/early 2000: Several attacks in Colombo and in the rest of the country;
February 2002: a new cease-fire agreement is signed between the Government and freedom-fighters.
2003: Peace talks continue in Thailand, Germany and Japan. April-May, several incidents take place in Muslim regions; civilians killed.
February 2004: The President dissolves the Parliament, and early legislative elections are held on 2 April 2004.
August 2005: The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lakshman Kadirgamar, is shot. A member of the Tamil community, he fervently advocated a tough policy against the separatists of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.
November 19 2005: Mahinda Rajapaksa elected president, and continues to hold office today. The violence slowed down off after talks in February 2005, but escalated again in April and the conflict continued until the military defeat of the Tamil Tigers in May 2009.