Sri Lanka—an island nation located in the Indian Ocean— has a population of approximately 19 million. Despite its diminuative size, however, Sri Lanka has a long and complex history. The diversity of its people has led to ethnic, religious, and political conflicts that continue to exist. Peebles describes the experiences of the country, from its earliest settlers, to civil war, to its current state, allowing readers to better understand this often misunderstood country.
With an emphasis on the 20th century, chapters discuss the economy, religion, culture, and government of Sri Lanka. A timeline outlines key events in Sri Lankan history, as well as biographies of notable people, and a bibliographic essay.