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Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon), History

According to Hindu legend the greater part of Sri Lanka was conquered in prehistoric times by Ramachandra, the seventh incarnation of the supreme deity Vishnu. The written history of the country begins with the chronicle known as the Mahavamsa. This work was started in the 6th century ad and provides a virtually unbroken narrative up to 1815. The Mahavamsa was compiled by a succession of Buddhist monks. Because it often aims to glorify or to degrade certain periods or reigns, it is not a wholly reliable source despite its wealth of historical material.

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