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The name Taprobana is attributed to Megasthenes in the 4th century BCE.
Ptolemy's map used the name Taprobane, establishing that in the 1st-2nd century CE the country was known to the West as Taprobane.
However, the name Salaka was also used in Greek, at the time.
`Taprobane' is believed to be derived from `Tambapanni', a name allegedly given to the island by Founder-Prince, Vijaya, because of the golden brown sands of the coast near Mannar (Manthota) where he landed.
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However, Mudliyar Attapattu who had been dispatched by the King of Kandy (Senerat) with an army of 10,000 defeated the the Portuguese soon after, as documented then by Joao Ribeiro and more recently by Tikiri Abeysinghe, (Jaffna under the Portuguese ISBN 955-1131-70-1).
However, when ever the King of Lanka was weak, the three "kingdoms" functioned as quasi-independent units fighting each other for hegemony, often allying with Indian regional princes in the Chola, Pandyan or Northern India.
The Hill country, or Malaya rata, and large parts of the wet zone effectively remained inaccessible to the ancients until they acquired steel implements circa 10-12 century and even began to make high quality steel.
The Jaffna Peninsula was finally recaptured in 1921 from Sinhalese rule by the Portuguese General Constantino de Sa de Noronha.
Although Denmark had signed a treaty with the King of Kandy for building a fort in Batticaloa, the Dutch overcame them.