For most people, Sri Lanka lies off the beaten path. An island country lying almost 5,800 kilometres northwest of Perth, Sri Lanka served first as home to a number of kingdoms, chief among them the Kingdom of Kandy. By 1818 the entire island, then named Ceylon came under the rule of the British Crown.
Sri Lanka played an important role in the Allied war against the Empire of Japan. Admiral Lord Louis Mountbatten, supreme commander for the South East Asia theatre, moved the regional military headquarters to Kandy. From there, he directed multiple offences that helped to bring about the final defeat of Japan.
In 1972, Sri Lanka became an independent republic. Today, it serves as one of the most beautiful and inviting tourist destinations in Asia.