National Geographic - World's Best Island - Sri LankaThe words mean "resplendent isle," and the natural charms of this pear-shaped island in the Indian Ocean that nearly kisses the southeast tip of India are indeed splendid. • Peopled mostly by Sinhalese, the result of waves of Indo-Aryan emigration, the island is mostly flat, with gentle mountains in the south. • The Portuguese and the Dutch once waged proxy wars here; by 1802 the island was a British colony. • This century saw bloody civil war, as the Liberation Tigers, representing minority Tamils, fought the Sinhalese and their domination of politics and economics. • In 2009 the Tigers were vanquished. • Today peace prevails.