The ceremonial launch of the book ‘Malaywarunge Abhimanaya’ written by popular dramatist and writer Edward Chandrasiri will be held on September 11, 2015. The book will be the first such publication in Sinhala, regarding the Malay population of the country.
Invited by the Organization of Sri Lankan Malays and the Conference of Sri Lankan Malays (COSLAM) to author the book, Edward Chandrasiri embarked on a voyage of discovery to reveal lesser known facts about Sri Lankan Malays. According to him, unlike during the 1950s, today there is less awareness among fellow countrymen about the Malay race. “Today people only see them as Muslims, but in fact the Malays have a language unique to them including a proud culture and traditions” Chandrasiri said adding that therefore his intention was to help researchers, enthusiasts and others through the knowledge acquired by him to gain a better understanding of the Malays in Sri Lanka.
In the book, Chandrasiri traces the history of the Sri Lankan Malay people from ancient times of Sri Lankan Kings which is a lesser known fact to prominent Malays in recent times. According to Chandrasiri, the presence of Malays in the country can even be traced back to the time of Kalinga Magha and is featured more prominently during the Dutch and British eras of the country.
“The book attempts to give an idea on how the Malays came to Sri Lanka,” he said. According to Chandrasiri in his research it was found that while some Malay Princes were brought as prisoners to the island by the Dutch, Malays were also brought as Soldiers while others arrived in the island as part of the Dutch East India Company. The book gives readers an insight in to notable Malay figures in history such as TB Jayah, Constable Tuan Saban along with more recent prominent persons in the arts such as singer Haroun, GSB Rani and more recent war heroes such as Colonel Tuan Nizam Muthaliff. The book also presents interesting facts regarding the now defunct Malay Rifle Regiment as well as information regarding Malay Associations in the country.
The book launch will be held at the Public Library Auditorium at 4.00 pm on Friday, September 11, 2015. The key oration at the ceremony will be delivered by artiste Jackson Anthony while TK Azoor, the President of the COSLAM will too deliver a speech, representing the Malay community. The event will also see the launching of a comedy series Sinaha Sayura – III written by Edward Chandrasiri.