16 Ogos, 2009


Sri Lankan Malays
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Sri Lankan Malays
Melayu Sri Lanka
A Sri Lankan Malayan man and his child
Total population
Regions with significant populations
Sri Lanka 50,000
Sri Lankan Creole Malay, Sinhalese, others


Related ethnic groups
Malays, Javanese, Sri Lankan Moors

The Malays of Sri Lanka (also known as Ja Minissu) originated in Southeast Asia and today consist of about 50,000 persons. Their ancestors came to the country when both Sri Lanka and Indonesia were colonies of the Dutch. Most of the early Malay immigrants were soldiers, posted by the Dutch colonial administration to Sri Lanka, who decided to settle on the island. Other immigrants were convicts or members of noble houses from Indonesia who were exiled to Sri Lanka and who never left. The main source of a continuing Malay identity is their common Malay language, which includes numerous words absorbed from the Moorish variant of the Tamil language and has changed its grammatical structures along the model provided by Sinhala and Tamil. In the 1980s, the Malays made up about 5% of the island's Muslim population, making them one of the smallest minority groups in Sri Lanka.

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