Friday, August 12, 2016

Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka has long connections to Africa. It is where Cleopatra sent her son Caesarion to hide. Sri Lanka is home to Tamils, Moors (links to Morocco), Burghers (to Dutch), Malays (to Malaysia), K* (to Africa's great lakes) and indigenous Vedda. As a South African, I won't say the K word. The history of Apartheid is raw and that word's use symbolises the worst of humanity for me. In Sri Lanka it doesn't have the stigma. It also shows a long history with the Islamic World and the East, and Africa that I know very little about. Britain's panic when Napoleon took control of the Netherlands sent the British off worldwide to South Africa, Malaysia etc. to take over Dutch interests (1640-1796). The Dutch had previously been invited to liberate the Sri Lankans from the Portuguese. Sri Lanka became a British colony in 1815. Initially coffee was a major export... but it switched to tea, i.e. Ceylon Tea. Independence only came in 1948, and Sri Lanka has recently emerged from a 26 year Civil War to become one of the fastest growing economies in the world. A family friend tells me the Wind Surfing is amazing.

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