Ceylon was the British Crown colony of present-day Sri Lanka between 1815 and 1948. Initially the area it covered did not include the Kingdom of Kandy, which was a protectorate, but from 1817 to 1948 the British possessions included the whole island of Ceylon, now the nation of Sri Lanka.
In antiquity, Sri Lanka was known to travellers by a variety of names. Ceilão, the name given to Sri Lanka by the Portuguese Empire when it arrived in 1505, was transliterated into English as Ceylon. As a British crown colony, the island was known as Ceylon; it achieved independence as the Dominion of Ceylon in 1948.
In May 1972, Ceylon was proclaimed a republic and changed its name from Ceylon to the "Republic of Sri Lanka", and in 1978 to "Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka". All Army units were renamed accordingly.