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European colonization more gloomy and repulsive than that which recounts the proceeding of the Portuguese in Ceylon. Astonished at the magnitude of their enterprises and the glory of their discoveries and conquests in India, the rapidity and success of which secured for Portugal an unprecedented renown, we are ill-prepared to hear of the rapacity, bigotry, and cruelty which characterized every stage of their progress in the East. They appeared in the Indian Seas in the threefold character of merchants, missionaries and pirates. Their ostensible motto was amity, commerce and religion. Their expeditions consisted of soldiers as well as adventurers and included friars and a chaplain major. Instruction were to begin by preaching, but that failing to proceed to the decision of the sword. At once aggressive and timid, they combined the profession of arms with that of trade, and thus their factories became fortresses from under whose guns their formidable galleon carried war and desolation against all weaker commercial rivals. The remarkable fact is that the picture of their policy has been drawn by friendly hands, and the most faithful records of their mis-government are contained in the decades of their own historians. The atrocities attributed to the Portuguese in the Tohfut-ul-mujahideen might be ascribed to the resentment of its Mohometan author on witnessing the havoc inflicted on his co-religionists in wars undertaken by Europeans in order to annihilate the commerce of the Moors in Hindustan, but no similar suspicion can attach to the narratives of Maffeus De Barros and De Couto, Castanheda, Faria Y Souza and Ribeyro each descriptive of actions that consign their authors to infamy.
The first botanic garden in Ceylon was established by Mr. North in 1799, and Ortafula, on the banks of the Kalany at Colombo, and M. Joinville was named its curator. In 1810 it was transferred to a portion of Slave island, which then acquired the name of "Kew" and in 1813 it was again removed to Culture, where moon, the first English Catalogue of Ceylon Plants, was superintendent and under him the present gardens were eventually laid out at Peradeniya.
Polonnaruwa 16 miles south east of Minneriya was the second and last great capital of the king of Lanka. This medieval city owned it's genesis to it's strategic position. It commanded the crossing of the Mahaweli river near Dastota, which had proved to be a vital point in the line of communication between Rajarata and the maritime plain of Rohana off the eastern base of the central mountain mass.
About Sri Lanka
||In Sinhala: ශ්රී ලංකාව
In Tamil: இலங்கை
In English: Sri Lanka
Official Name: Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka
||Latitude: 7.0000° N, Longitude: 81.0000° E
||Sri Lankan Rupee (LKR)
||Sri Lanka Matha ( Lyrics, music and song download)
||20.33 million (2012) World Bank
|Gross Domestic Product (GDP)
||$59.42 billion (2012) World Bank