These are similar to Megalithic burial jars found in South India and the Deccan during a similar time frame. One theory states that there was not an organised Tamil presence in Sri Lanka until the invasions from what is now South India in the 10th century AD; another theory contends that Tamil people were the original inhabitants of the island.
The "Nakar" used the cobra totem known as "Nakam" in the Tamil language, which is still part of the Hindu Tamil tradition in Sri Lanka today as a subordinate deity. However, Indian history and archaeology have pushed the date back to the 15th century BC, and in Sri Lanka, there is radiometric evidence from Anuradhapura that the non- Brahmi symbol-bearing black and red ware occur at least around the 9th or 10th century BC.
Potsherds with early Tamil writing from the 2nd century BCE have been found in excavations in north of the island in Poonagari , bearing several inscriptions including a clan name — vela, a name related to velir from ancient Tamil country.
There is epigraphic evidence of people identifying themselves as Damelas or Damedas the Prakrit word for Tamil people in Anuradhapura, the capital city of Rajarata , and other areas of Sri Lanka as early as the 2nd century BC. The Hoysala influence spread over the Pandya kingdom from whom they gained tribute. The Arya Chakaravarthi expansion into the south was halted by Alagakkonara ,  a man descended from a family of merchants from Kanchipuram in Tamil Nadu. Vira Alakeshwara, a descendant of Alagakkonara, later became king of the Sinhalese,  but he was overthrown by the Ming admiral Cheng Ho in The Arya Chakaravarthi dynasty ruled over large parts of northeast Sri Lanka until the Portuguese conquest of the Jaffna Kingdom in The coastal areas of the island were taken over by the Dutch and then became part of the British Empire in The English sailor Robert Knox described walking into the island's Tamil country in the publication An Historical Relation of the Island Ceylon , annotating some kingdoms within it on a map in This led to the emergence of three new Sinhalese caste groups: Si and Rajaji in center, convention of the Mylai Tamil Sangam, early s British colonists consolidated the Tamil territory in southern India into the Madras Presidency , which was integrated into British India.
Similarly, the Tamil speaking parts of Sri Lanka joined with the other regions of the island in to form the Ceylon colony. They remained in political union with India and Sri Lanka after their independence, in and respectively. The state was subsequently split along linguistic lines. In , the northern districts formed Andhra Pradesh.
The Bellary and South Kanara districts were ceded to Mysore state , and Kerala was formed from the Malabar district and the former princely states of Travancore and Cochin. In , Madras State was renamed Tamil Nadu. An independent Tamil state[ edit ] See also: In the Sri Lankan highlands the lands of the Sinhalese were seized by the British and Indian Tamils were settled there as plantation workers.
The Sinhalese, constituting majority of the country, misliked the minority Tamils having huge power in the island. After anti-Tamil pogroms in , and and police brutality against the Tamils protesting against these acts, guerilla groups like Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam were created.
Their goal was to create an independent Tamil state, Tamil Eelam. The burning of Jaffna library in and Black July in finally led to over 25 years of war between the Sri Lankan army and the Tamil Tigers. The Sri Lankan civil war led to death of over , people according to the United Nations.