A Forgotten Minority: The Afro-Sri Lankans

In: African and Asian Studies
Shihan de Silva Jayasuriya Department of Portuguese & Brazilian Studies, King's College London, University of London, London WC2R 2LS, England, Email:

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This paper seeks to understand why people of African descent in Sri Lanka have a low profile. Drawing attention to cultural retentions and transformations, it examines the process of their assimilation within post-independent Sri Lanka. It argues that the fate of today's Afro-Sri Lankans was shaped during the British era. The prestige of Afro-Sri Lankans rested on their military abilities. Turning to their contemporary status, it appears that their considerable talents as musicians and dancers have not been adequately recognised and nurtured. These internationally marketable assets need to be supported through aid.

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