I am Tuan Mohammed Zameer Careem, a Sri Lankan Malay medical student and author and I am gonna uncover the stories
pertaining to the Sri Lankan Malays their history contribution and
achievements in sports we all know that sport is an important facet of ethnic
and racial identities across the globe in many instances a particular sport
eventually becomes emblematic to a group of people during the Dutch and British
Colonial rule Malay community of Ceylon was the most sports conscious and
pioneered many activities in a variety of sports in the island including the
much famed game of cricket In point of fact the Colombo Malay Cricket Club
founded in the year 1872 is the oldest cricket club in Sri Lanka and in 1907 it
became the first Ceylonese club to embark on a cricket tour overseas In later years
the Malay club cricketers added finesse to their play and in 1920 the Malays became
Ceylon’s Club champions in cricket
AC Amath, Baba Roshan Jurampathy, Tuan Nishan Sampath, Allal Careem, TK Burah, AA Deane, Dr A Sourjah, Dr A R Deane and Sharmila Kitchil are some of the most
notable cricketers of Sri lankan Malay descent
Former captain of the Sri Lanka National Cricket team and Test cricketer
Tillakaratne Dilshan born as Tuan Mohammad Dilshan is of mixed Sri Lankan
Malay and Sinhala parentage Dilshan began brightly with first Mitchell stark
and then Josh Hazelwood copping some vintage treatment from the Sri Lankan
great Malay’s sporting zeal was not restricted to cricket alone they took up
a number of other European sports including football hockey tennis boxing
horse-racing swimming motor racing and rugby in fact rugby has come to be
closely associated with Sri Lanka Malay identity and sports like boxing and
rugby remain bastions of the Malay minority in Sri Lanka Sri Lankan Malay sporting champions
Jeffrey Dulapadan and Mayumi Raheem have captained and represented the Sri
lanka swimming team at several international meets Mayumi Rahim
represented Sri Lanka at the 2005 World Championships 2006 World short Course
Championships 2008 Olympics and was a semi-finalists at the 2006 Commonwealth
Games which was held in Australia she won three gold medals at the 2006
South Asian Games where she also earned five silver medals bringing her total to 11
medals a record for any athlete at a single Asian Games Kimiko Raheem, sister of Mayumi & Michiko Raheem is a Sri lankan National swimmer who has represented her
country at several international competitions including the 2016 Olympic
games which was held in Rio de Janeiro Brazil she won multiple gold medals at
the 2016 South Asian Games in the backstroke and freestyle events…… My
sister Mayumi represented Sri Lanka in the Beijing Olympics in 2008 so now that
I get my chance to represent my country in the bygone days Malay men
especially in the Police force and Rifle Regiment were known for the game tug of
war an ancient and dynamic contest in tugging known among Ceylon Malays as
“Tarek Tambang” The sport of tug of war can be traced back approximately 4000 years through
the records of many civilizations and countries the game is a fair physical
trial of strength and force and as a competitive sport it is still popular in
Sri Lanka especially in the Armed Forces most familiar statues in the world it is
known simply as the wrestlers and that makes sense because these men are Greeks
and the ancient Greeks invented the sport of wrestling
according to the books authored by Colonial powers some of the ponderous
Malay men of the Rifle Regiment engaged in epic fights known as “Pukulan Cheena”
which was a combination of bare-knuckle fighting wrestling and traditional Malay
martial art known as “Silat” Up until the early 20th century the bloodthirsty
sport of “Pukulan Cheena” was at the height of its popularity amongst Malays
living in Slave Island and Katukale a few rules existed and audiences were
entertained by bouts that could continue for hours with no limit to the number of
rounds the winner was only decided when his opponent could no longer stand and
fight while the playing of wicker ball known
as “Sepak raga” a novel game very much like football was also popular amongst
Malays of Ceylon Rifle Regiment and the Police Force in fact it was the
forefathers of the Ceylon Malay minority who introduced this sport during the
Dutch Colonial rule the ball used for Sepak raga was made of split cane known
by the Malays as “rattan” and the woven hollow ball was called “Ragang” the game
consists of keeping the ball in the air by a series of kicks aiming at throwing
the ball on the ground on the adversary’s side of a marked or
imaginary line the kick is a peculiar one requiring great agility in the
player and is assisted by the whole body balancing on one leg the other is thrown
violently forwards and upwards semicircularly until it touches the
ground the body being swayed and at the same time followed the direction of the
foot as one foot touches the ground the other is ready for the return kick the
toes being raised almost as high as the head of the player the kick was called
“Cheena Adi” or the Chinese kick by the Sri Lankan Malays and I believe it was
evidently borrowed from the Chinese there are only 40,000 Malays in Sri
Lanka today and they comprise less than 0.2 percent of the country’s population
that fact itself is so alarming that it demands measures to help the community
from fading away you


  1. Whoever produced this excellent video has completely ignored the most popular sports among Sri Lankan Malays, SOCCER, in which they excelled at national level.

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