5th/6th century B.C.: Indo-Aryan emigration from India - the Singhalese arrived in Sri Lanka
Mid 3rd century B.C.: Buddhism was introduced and a civilisation developed at the cities of Anuradhapura (kingdom from circa 200 B.C. to circa 1000 A.D.) and Polonnaruwa (from about 1070 to 1200).
3rd century to 1200: immigration of Tamils from the Tamil region of India
4th century: a South-Indian dynasty occupied the North and established a Tamil kingdom
1505: Ceylon was occupied by the Portuguese
1658: Ceylon was occupied by the Dutch
1796: Ceylon was ceded to the British
1802: Ceylon became an English Crown colony - cultivation of coffee, tea and rubber in plantations
February 4, 1948: Ceylon became a self-governing dominion of the Commonwealth of Nations
1956: Sinhala language became sole official language; measures were made to enhance Sinhalese and Buddhist feeling
1972: Ceylon's name was changed to Sri Lanka, Buddhism given primary place as religion (further antagonising Tamil minority)
1976: Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) established as tensions increased in Tamil dominated areas (in the North and East of Sri Lanka)
1983: LTTE ambush killed 13 soldiers; following anti-Tamil riots leading to the death of several hundred Tamils (estimated). Conflict between army and LTTE developed in the North
1985: failure of first attempts of a peace talk between the government and LTTE
1987: the government signed accords creating new councils for Tamil areas and agreement with India on development of Indian peace-keeping force (failed in 1989)
1989: about 60,000 lost their lives in the conflict / war
1994: President Kumaratunga opened peace talks with LTTE
1996: LTTE bombed the capital Colombo - state of emergency extended across the country
1999: President Kumaratunga (re-elected) was wounded in a bomb attack
2000: Norway acted as an intermediary in the peace process
2002: the government and LTTE signed a permanent ceasefire agreement (peace initiative sponsored by Norway); the government lifted the ban on LTTE, the rebels dropped their demand for a separate state
2004: suicide bomb blasted in Colombo - the fragile peace process was at risk
December 26, 2004: a magnitude 9.0 earthquake (epicentre was on the Island of Sumatra) caused a tremendously powerful tsunami in the Indian Ocean that devastated 12 Asian countries. More than 40,000 people were reported killed in Sri Lanka in the disaster, and hundred thousand were left homeless.
Since end of 2005: LTTE renewed; a suicide bomb blasted in Colombo, the army in the northern and eastern areas of the country was attacked
Since August 2006: governmental troops and LTTE started new fights in the north and east of the country
February 2008: the government abrogated the ceasefire-agreement. Severe fightings started in the north and northeast of Sri Lanka, some attacks rocked Colombo, while the western and especially the southwestern areas stayed calm.
Here you find information about the current security situation in Sri Lanka.