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Tamil Australians, French Tamils, British Tamils, Tamil Italians, Tamil Indonesians, Tamil Canadians, Tamil Americans, Tamil South Africans, Myanmar Tamils, Tamil Mauritians, Tamil Germans, Tamil Pakistanis, Tamil Seychellois, Tamil New Zealanders, Swiss Tamils in Tamil, are members of the Tamil ethnic group native to the South Asian island state of Sri Lanka.

It is not possible to ascertain what languages that they originally spoke as Vedda language is considered diverged from its original source. Indrapala, cultural diffusion, rather than migration of people, spread the Prakrit and Tamil languages from peninsular India into an existing mesolithic population, centuries before the common era.

While there was significant migration during the British colonial period, the civil war led to more than 800,000 Tamils leaving Sri Lanka, and many have left the country for destinations such as Canada, India and Europe as refugees.

There is little scholarly consensus over the presence of the Sri Lankan Tamil people in Sri Lanka, also known as Eelam in Sangam literature.

Potsherds with early Tamil writing from the 2nd century BCE have been found from the north in Poonagari, Kilinochchi District to the south in Tissamaharama.

They bore several inscriptions, including a clan name—vela, a name related to velir from ancient Tamil country.

The civil war ended in 2009 but there are continuing allegations of atrocities being committed by the Sri Lankan Military and the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam during its final months.

One-third of Sri Lankan Tamils now live outside Sri Lanka.

The name Ko Veta is engraved in Brahmi script on a seal buried with the skeleton and is assigned by the excavators to the 3rd century BCE.

Ko, meaning "King" in Tamil, is comparable to such names as Ko Atan, Ko Putivira and Ko Ra-pumaan occurring in contemporary Tamil Brahmi inscriptions of ancient South India and Egypt.

Sri Lankan Tamil dialects are noted for their archaism and retention of words not in everyday use in the Tamil Nadu state in India.