Colonial History starts by the Portuguese. Portuguese arrived in 1505 and the main city was established at Kotte, in the Western lowlands. The Portuguese came to trade in spices but stayed to rule until 1656 in the coastal regions. Then Dutch came thereafter. The Dutch rule lasted from 1656 to 1796.Rule was displaced by the British in 1796. During this period the highland Kingdom, with its capital in Kandy, retained its independence despite repeated assaults by foreign powers who ruled the rest of the country. In 1815 the whole island came under British power when the last Sinhalese King Keerthi Sri Wickrama Rajasinghe was captured. Modern communications, Western medical services, education in English, as well as the plantation industry developed during the British rule. By a process of peaceful, constitutional evolution, Sri Lanka won back her independence in 1948 and is now a sovereign republic, with membership in the Commonwealth of Nations and the United Nations Organization.