A railway service in Sri Lanka has restarted 24 years after it was interrupted. The train links the southern part of the nation (the city of Colombo) to the northern part (the city of Jaffna). There had been a war in the country that led to the train service stopping. During the war, some of the train stations and part of the rail tracks had been destroyed, and had to be rebuilt.
Sri Lanka was partly ruled by the Portuguese (in the 1500s) until the Dutch came along (in the 1600s). Then the British arrived (at the end of the 1700s), and finally Sri Lanka got its independence in 1948. More than 70% of Sri Lankans are part of a group known as the Sinhalese. Another group of people in the country are the Tamils. After Sri Lanka’s independence, the Tamils felt that they were not treated fairly. In the 1970s, a group called the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) was formed with a mission to create a separate country for the Tamils. They took over the northern part of Sri Lanka. For more than 25 years, LTTE fought with the Sri Lankan government. Many people lost their lives in this war and there was a lot of destruction in the country. In 2009, the Tigers were defeated by the army bringing an end to the war.
Sri Lanka is an island country with rivers, waterfalls, forests, and elephants. It is one of the largest tea exporters in the world. It has two capitals – Colombo and Sri Jayewardenepura Kotte (legislative). A popular Sri Lankan snack is a dish of hoppers (image). Hoppers are similar to pancakes, but are made out of rice flour and served with different foods such as eggs or onions.
Did you know?
Srimavo Bandaranaike, the prime minister of Sri Lanka first elected in 1960, was the world’s first woman prime minister.
Image Credits: Pulasti for Hopper’s image, CIA World Factbook for Sri Lanka’s map, http://www.priu.gov.lk/ for train’s image
Sources: http://www.priu.gov.lk/, CIA World Factbook, Lonely Planet, http://www.biography.com/