So we stopped earlier at Columbus. The cinnamon story came way back from 2700BC up to 1500AD.

Columbus sailed west in 1492 in a true search for true cinnamon. It was an attempt to find a way to the Promised Land with the magic stick. But he found America!

In 1505AD Portuguese governor of India was Francisco da Almeida. He ordered his son Lorenzo da Almeida, to take out the Arab pirate vessels that annoyed Portuguese traders in the Indian Ocean. In return the Arabs destroyed merchant ships sailing to Europe. Lorenzo stormed after them, but winds of fate pushed his boat towards coast of Colombo.

The young lad uncovered the greatest secret kept for 3000 years. Source of the worlds’ precious spice, Ceylon! Sweet Ceylon Cinnamon.

Soon the Portuguese started control of Cinnamon trade (1517AD to1660AD), and requested ownership of Cinnamon from the Sinhalese. Sinhalese grew impatient with this ruthless rule and turned to the assistance of a mighty naval power-Dutch.

Dutch did not wait long to cease this ideal opportunity. They fought a 60 year war (1600AD to1660AD) to deport the Portuguese. Then Dutch took control (1660AD to1803AD) of the Sri Lankan island and dominated the cinnamon trade for 150 years. The best historical evidence about the cinnamon trade in Sri Lanka is revealed in “Upcountry-Dutch agreement” signed (1766AD) between the Sri Lankan King Keerthi Sri Rajasinghe and the Dutch government. By this agreement King permitted Dutch to cut and peel cinnamon in certain forest areas of Sri Lanka and Dutch agreed to protect the Kingdom from foreign invasion. They began methodical plantations which proved to be so successful. Now excess Cinnamon was produced. When there was a surplus of cinnamon supplies, it pushed down the cinnamon market prices. So Dutch burnt 16 million French Livres worth of Cinnamon (1760AD) as the whole of Holland was covered in a perfumed cloud of Cinnamon smoke for days.

Foreign invasions in Ceylon
Troublesome 500 years

Unfortunately Dutch behaved no more pleasant towards Sinhalese than the Portuguese. The Sinhalese King of Kandy occasionally undertook military campaigns against the European dictators.

True cinnamon was produced in only one place, Ceylon. Anyone who had the control over Ceylon made rocketing profits. Portuguese made their way (from 1517AD to 1660AD), enslaved the natives and took over control of cinnamon trade from Arabs. Then the Dutch displaced the Portuguese and gained the control of the cinnamon monopoly (from 1660AD to 1803AD). British took the control of the island (1815AD) and cinnamon trade moved to their hands till Ceylon gained independence from the Sovereignty of Britain in 1948 AD. So the small island with the magic stick was invaded, taken over by foreign rulers from 1517AD to 1948AD, nearly 500 years !

Portuguese, Dutch the the British
British rule Ceylon from 1815 to 1948
Sri Lanka was taken over by Portuguese, Dutch and British from 1505BC to 1948BC

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