Sri Lanka, Nov 2006
Sri Lanka (/sriːˈlɑːŋkə, -ˈlæŋkə/ Sinhalese: ශ්රී ලංකා Śrī Laṃkā, Tamil: இலங்கை Ilaṅkai), officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka (formerly known as Ceylon), is an island country in South Asia near south-east India. Sri Lanka has maritime borders with India to the northwest and the Maldives to the southwest. Sri Lanka has a rich Buddhist heritage, and the first known Buddhist writings of Sri Lanka, the Pāli Canon, dates back to the Fourth Buddhist council in 29 BC. The culture of Sri Lanka dates back over 2500 years. Sri Lanka is the home to two main traditional cultures: the Sinhalese (centred in the ancient cities of Kandy and Anuradhapura) and the Tamil (centred in the city of Jaffna). There are three main styles of Sri Lankan classical dance. They are, the Kandyan dances, low country dances and Sabaragamuwa dances. Of these, the Kandyan style, which flourished under kings of the Kingdom of Kandy, is more prominent.
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