The Origins of Muslim Political Representation and the Shaping of a Ceylon Moor Identity

3 Jan, 2021

The very first Muslim political representatives were appointed during the period of Britishcolonial rule, as ‘communal’ representatives. For over fifty years following the establishmentof the Ceylon Legislative Council in 1833, the Muslims did not have separate representation.Instead, they were (wrongly) assumed to be represented by the Tamil Member in theLegislative Council. This article investigates the origins of Muslim political representation inthe late nineteenth century, and the impact of the creation of a separate seat for Muslims interms of the Moors’ identity formation and the way such separate representation wasreceived by the elite Tamils who had represented the Muslims thus far.

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