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Sri Lanka, formerly the British colony Ceylon, is a small island nation in the Indian Ocean, just south of India. Ceylon gained its independence from Britain in 1948 and in 1972 was renamed Sri Lanka. In 1983, the country was plunged into a civil war, which did not end until 2009. This appeared to be one of the longest and protracted wars fought in postcolonial Asia. One of the dominant powers of the Asian continent, India, was eventually dragged into the civil war, with far-reaching social consequences for both Sri Lanka and India. In addition, the civil war displaced many people, some of whom found refuge in military camps in Sri Lanka and others who fled to India. This entry discusses the causes and ...

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