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By Sebastian Nordhoff.

ISBN-10: 9460930115

ISBN-13: 9789460930119

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Example text

Particularly after the middle of the 18th century, the proportion of free Malays grew. From 1769 onwards, the free Malays had their own category for tax collecting purposes (Bichsel-Stettler 1989:9), which indicates that their number could not be neglected. This comprised discharged soldiers and descendants of political exiles. Their occupations included gardening, rattan weaving and petty trade. Some were also employed as domestic servants. These Malays counted as foreigners in Ceylon and had to perform Uliyam (soccage),4 a duty which the political exiles and soldiers were exempt from (Hussainmiya 1990:48f).

3 The use of ‘Ceylon’ for the republic is obviously anachronistic, but the use of Sri Lanka for the historical period is anachronistic as well. I will therefore use ‘Ceylon’ for the historical period,4 and ‘Sri Lanka’ for the modern period, and for discussions which do not refer to any period in particular. It is often necessary to refer to the places of origin of the Malay speakers. As of today, two main countries occupy the relevant area, Malaysia and Indonesia, but these 3 Furthermore, the addition of ‘Sri’ is occasionally seen as an expression of Sinhalese nationalism.

10 CHAPTER 2. 1 Political history Like the Portuguese before them, the Dutch had taken hold in the SEAA before trying to get hold of Ceylon. In their possession in the SEAA, they had met peoples with excellent soldiers, who the Dutch recruited into their service. These troops were already fighting on the Dutch side during the war with the Portuguese (Hussainmiya 1990:44). Later, they formed an important part of the Dutch military presence in Ceylon. There were garrisons in the main coastal towns of Colombo, Galle, Chilaw and Trincomalee.

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A grammar of upcountry Sri Lanka Malay by Sebastian Nordhoff.


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