70% of Sri Lankan Tamils in Sri Lanka live in the Northern and Eastern provinces.Although Sri Lankan Tamils are culturally and linguistically distinct, genetic studies indicate that they are closely related to Sinhalese ethnic group in the island.Tamil Australians, French Tamils, British Tamils, Tamil Italians, Tamil Indonesians, Tamil Canadians, Tamil Americans, Tamil South Africans, Myanmar Tamils, Tamil Mauritians, Tamil Germans, Tamil Pakistanis, Tamil Seychellois, Tamil New Zealanders, Swiss Tamils in Tamil, are members of the Tamil ethnic group native to the South Asian island state of Sri Lanka.According to anthropological and archaeological evidence, Sri Lankan Tamils have a very long history in Sri Lanka and have lived on the island since at least around the 2nd century BC.Excavated ceramic sequences similar to that of Arikamedu were found in Kandarodai (Kadiramalai) on the north coast, dated to 1300 BCE.Cultural similarities in burial practices in South India and Sri Lanka were dated by archaeologists to 10th century BCE.Settlements of culturally similar early populations of ancient Sri Lanka and ancient Tamil Nadu in India were excavated at megalithic burial sites at Pomparippu on the west coast and in Kathiraveli on the east coast of the island.
The name Ko Veta is engraved in Brahmi script on a seal buried with the skeleton and is assigned by the excavators to the 3rd century BCE.
The indigenous Veddhas are physically related to people in South India and early populations of Southeast Asia.
It is not possible to ascertain what languages that they originally spoke as Vedda language is considered diverged from its original source. Indrapala, cultural diffusion, rather than migration of people, spread the Prakrit and Tamil languages from peninsular India into an existing mesolithic population, centuries before the common era.
Excavations in the area of Tissamaharama in southern Sri Lanka have unearthed locally issued coins, produced between the 2nd century BCE and the 2nd century CE, some of which carry local Tamil personal names written in early Tamil characters, Two of the five ancient inscriptions referring to the Damedas (Tamils) are in Periya Pullyakulam in the Vavuniya District, one is in Seruvavila in Trincomalee District, one is in Kuduvil in Ampara District and one is in Anuradhapura.
Mention is made in literary sources of Tamil rulers bringing horses to the island in water craft in the second century BCE, most likely arriving at Kudiramalai.
Since the beginning of the Sri Lankan Civil War in the 1980s, it is distinguished by an emphasis on themes relating to the conflict.