A Conversation with the Ambassador of Sri Lanka, Upali Sarrath Kongahage
The island in the Indian Ocean that is about 54 kilometres to the east off the southern tip of India has already had many names. The original inhabitants called it Lamka. Later, it was referred to as Tambapanni, Taprobane and Singhala. Under Portuguese rule it was called Ceilao and finally Ceylon by the Dutch and British colonial masters. When the island, which is with its 65,610 km2 a little bit smaller than Bavaria, regained its independence from the United Kingdom in 1948 the name was not changed. "Never change a winning horse," said the government in the capital Colombo, "wait and see—we have more important things to do."