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In 2010, the Army had approximately 200,000 regular personnel, between 20,000–40,000 reserve personnel and 18,000 National Guardsmen and comprises 13 operational divisions, one air-mobile brigade, one commando brigade, one special forces brigade, one independent armored brigade, three mechanized infantry brigades and over 40 infantry brigades.

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Numerous forts were soon established, and features of European civilisation were introduced.

The Portuguese are credited with the introduction of European-style fortresses to Sri Lanka during this era.

In the beginning of the 16th century, modern Europe first came in contact with Sri Lanka, which was then referred to as Ceylon.

In 1505 a Portuguese fleet, while operating in the Indian seas against Arab traders, was blown off course and landed at Galle, on the southern coast of the island.

The first military engagements in Sri Lankan history were marked by the advent of King Vijaya, a Bengal prince who landed along with his followers on the beaches of northwestern Sri Lanka around 543 BC.

Prince Vijaya and his followers occupied the lands of the native Veddah people.

Much like the Portuguese, they did not employ locals in their military, and preferred to live in isolation, pursuing their interests in trade and commerce.

Like the Portuguese, they defended their forts with their own forces, but unlike the Portuguese, Dutch forces employed Swiss and Malay mercenaries.

The Dutch Forts in Jaffna, Galle, Matara, Batticaloa and Trincomalee were sturdily built and are considered a tribute to their military engineering skills.

Also, like the Portuguese, the Dutch focussed on maritime power and although they had the capability to develop and use local forces, they chose to isolate themselves from the local population.

He also had the foresight to cover his defences with artillery.