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Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) is an island country in South Asia, located about 31km off the southern coast of India.
After over two thousand years of rule by local kingdoms, parts of Ceylon were colonized by Portugal and the Netherlands beginning in the 16th century, before control of the entire country passed to Britain around 1796. A nationalist political movement arose in the country in the early 20th century with the aim of obtaining political independence, which was eventually granted by the British after peaceful negotiations in 1948.
The first stamps for Ceylon were issued on 1 April 1857.