SMW, SLT still comes to you from lovely Sri Lanka, down here surrounded by the Indian Ocean. My life, and my e-mails, have been too full of reality and news, or the lack thereof, for the past few months…so I’m gonna take a pass and tell you nothing more than that I’m still here, and will be until this blog tells you something different. Whenever that might be, I still can’t say. So sorry.
You guessed it, you’re about to get a brief history of Sri Lanka. A very brief history, not to worry. The Veddah, SL’s ur-inhabitants, can be thought of as perhaps comparable to America’s ur-inhabitants: pushed out, killed and/or greatly reduced in number by later arrivals. There are some Veddah still remaining, but they’re not a demographic, political or cultural force. Sri Lankan culture as we know it today began being formed by immigrants from Northern India, who arrived most likely some time around the 6th Century BC. Sinhalese legend says the son of a north Indian king was exiled for some crime, and put in a boat with 700 men – the idea seems to have been “you can’t really kill the son of the king, but you can send him off to the open ocean and let him die there.” Legend says he landed in Sri Lanka on the same day the Buddha achieved enlightenment, over on the mainland.