The first people to inhabit Sri Lanka, called Ceylon until 1972, were tribal people from
called the Veddahs. Vijaya, a prince from northern India, came, with the other founders of the Sinhalese culture, to Sri Lanka in the early 400's B.C., and enc ouraged the first major immigration movement there. The center of this Sinhalese civilization, that lasted from 200 B.C. until A.D. 993, was Anuradhapura, a city in Northern Sri Lanka that housed the major shrines and irrigation projects that the Sinhale se developed. In the 100's B.C. the Tamils from southern India began invading Sri Lanka, and eventually gained control of the northern half of the island, pushing the Sinhalese to the south. From the A.D. 900's until the 1500's, Sri Lanka's history cent ers mostly on the struggles between the Tamil kings and the Sinhalese kings.