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The island of Ceylon, as it was known by its colonial rulers, has fascinated many generations of travellers, and has captured the imagination of explorers who have kept returning to its shores in awe of its natural beauty and curious inhabitants.
With its location at the centre of major sea routes, the island was a coveted treasure of maritime traders. The island created a strategic link between South East Asia and West Asia and was an equally important stop along the silk route. The island has strong roots vested in the Buddhist religion and has remained so from the ancient days. The country was the first location from where Buddhist teachings were documented, and is one of the few countries where Buddhism finds its abode in South Asia.
But with that said, the country boasts of a rich diversity of cultures, religions and languages. The Sinhalese community makes up the majority of the population while Sri Lankan Tamils concentrated in the North and the East of the island form the largest ethnic minority in the island. Other communities include Burghers, Moors, Kaffirs, and Malays.
The island lays claim to a colourful and long history which spans more than three thousand years and also one of the longest histories to be documented in the world. The country is also a founding member of the SAARC and is a member of the UN, Commonwealth, and the Non-Aligned movement to name a few. The country's stock market was dubbed as the best performing stock exchange from 2009-2010.
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