Sri lankan art
Sri Lanka is a tropical island nation southeast of India.Although known to Indians of early times as Lanka or Lankadweepa (meaning "Resplendent Land" in Sanskrit), Arabs called it Serendib, while its Portuguese, Dutch, and British colonizers called it Ceylon. The country achieved independence as Ceylon in 1948, and changed its name to Sri Lanka in 1972.The two largest population groups on the island are the Sinhalese and the Tamils, each descended from peoples who arrived from southern India more than two thousand years ago. Although they have mixed to some degree, the Sinhalese and the Tamils maintain largely separate cultures, tensions between them having periodically turned violent. From the 1980s, such an ethnic war caused tens of thousands of deaths. A ceasefire has been in effect since late in 2001.Related links: Art Sri Lanka is a web portal dedicated to the arts and culture of Sri Lanka. It includes online galleries and essays about art from as long ago as 250 BCE, up to works produced by several of Sri Lanka's youngest artists. Among pieces displayed are masks (both ritual and folk drama), antique maps, and prints. The Serendib Gallery, which has been in the forefront of promoting Sri Lankan art since the 1950s, launched artsrilanka.org in 2002 during a gala at which the chief guest was Sir Arthur C. Clarke (1917-), the British science-fiction author who has lived in Sri Lanka since 1956. (See cinema concerning the film adaptation of Clarke's novel, 2001: A Space Odyssey.)Also see Buddhist art, flags of Asia, Hindu art, and Islamic art.