Next on the itinerary, the group traveled to the ancient city of Polonnaruwa – declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1982 – to view the stunning ruins. One of the trip highlights included a cruise on the Madu River, which included a stop on Cinnamon Island to learn how to make high-quality cinnamon, of course!

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Galle is the only place in the world to sell white tea.

And so a tasting of the town’s top 20 exclusive teas at the Handunugoda Tea Museum, and learning some insight about the manufacturing process behind the scenes was a must. “Everyone wanted to tell us their own story and were always genuinely friendly.

In response to the tsunami of December 2004, the Canadian government and individual Canadians pledged an unprecedented amount of assistance for relief, recovery and reconstruction projects in Sri Lanka.

Annual bilateral assistance is approximately $6 million, and in 2009, Canada announced up to $22.5 million in humanitarian assistance.

An impressive irrigation system had been developed by 100 CE, which became the most elaborate in South Asia.

By the time of Alexander the Great’s arrival in the region in around 327 BCE, a trading centre had been established at Māntai (modern-day Tirukketisvaram).

Sri Lanka also has consulates in Montréal, Toronto, and Vancouver.

Canada and Sri Lanka have strong bilateral relations based upon shared participation in the Commonwealth, and development assistance through the Colombo Plan, in addition to the presence of a vibrant community of Canadians of Sri Lankan origin.

Dravidian and Indo-Aryan languages filtered down to Sri Lanka, from the south and north of India respectively, with modern-day Tamils and Sinhalese each often claiming their forefathers arrived first.

However, many historians now think that Dravidian and Indo-Aryan cultures most likely did not arrive in Sri Lanka until late in the first millennium BCE.

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