Ceylon is now know as Sri Lanka. The Portuguese were the first Europeans to gain a foothold in Ceylon, followed by the Dutch. The Dutch administration in Ceylon came under the control of the Batavian Republic (a client state to the French) when the Dutch fell under French control in 1795. The British, allied with the Dutch until 1796, moved to occupy the territories in South Africa and Ceylon that were now under the Batavian Republic. The Dutch primarily occupied the costal areas, while the Kingdom of Kandy ruled in the centre of the Island.
Between 21st July 19795 and 15th February 1796 the British mounted a campaign against the Batavian Dutch in Ceylon with three British Battalions, two Indian (Madras) Battalions and artillery units. The British had hoped the Dutch would surrender, but when they refused, and Trincomalee was put under siege. A naval bombardment and landing of the troops led to the surrender of the 679 defenders in August 1795. The Dutch surrendered Colombo in February 1796 when threatened with an assault.
Until October 1798 the East India Company administered Ceylon. Between October 1798 and January 1802 the British Crown and the East India Company jointly administered the Island. With effect from the 28th March 1802 Ceylon became a British Crown Colony. The whole Island of Ceylon came under British control on 2nd March 1815 when the British subdued the Kandyan rulers.