Big part of the recent history was the civil war in Sri Lanka that lasted almost 30 years. The conflict arose from the ethnic tension between Sinhalese and Tamil citizens. Peace started to appear when a ceasefire was declared in 2002, but wasn't fully reached until 2009. During the war, tourism to the island was scarce. Since the end of the war, the country has opened up to visitors and economic growth. There are four religions. Of all the people in Sri Lanka, most are Buddhist, others are Hinduist, some are Muslim and another group is Christian. They all live quite comfortably with each other and are usually respectful of each other. There are three official languages. The main language of the island is Sinhalese, close behind comes Tamil and the third language is English. Most people, either Sinhalese or Tamil will know a little bit of English, with more of the younger generation learning at a faster rate. All street signs are in the three languages and if it’s only in one language, then it will be English. The island is famous for the mining of sapphires and rubies. The Ratnapura area in Sri Lanka is world famous for the amount of corundum gems found in the watery soil. Sapphires and rubies have been mined in the country since ancient times. Sapphire and ruby jewelry is easy to find and not too expensive to buy. The original peoples of Sri Lanka are the Veddah. Now more mixed with the colonists and later settlers, there are still some Veddah communities around the island. Mostly inside or around national parks, they live among nature and hunt for a living.