The Malay community, despite being one of the smallest communities in Sri Lanka, has contributed towards the nation building of Sri Lanka as an equal partner in the multi-ethnic mosaic of the island nation. 'They were not only daunting soldiers in time of war, but erudite scholars dedicated to their religion, cultural pursuits and contributed commendably to all walks of Sri Lankan life.'17) Muslim leaders fought shoulder to shoulder with their counterparts, the Sinhala and the Tamil freedom fighters for the independence of Sri Lanka.
 Among Muslim leaders, Dr. T. B. Jayah was one of the most prominent and illustrious national leaders of Sri Lanka. He was an educationist and a political visionary. Being a Malay Muslim, he strove for freedom of all communities. He is known as a leader who put his country before community. It was his thesis that became a corner stone of the present governance as 'One Nation ミ One Country' in which he originated a united democratic concept of a Unitary State. Originally as a teacher, he taught at several well-known schools such as Ananda College18), Prince of Wales and as the Principal of Zahira College, he transformed a tottering elementary school to a premier educational institution in Sri Lanka. As a politician, he was deeply concerned about the welfare of the Muslims including his own Malay community as well as other communities. He was first elected to the Legislative Council in 1924 and appointed Minister of Labour and Social Service in 1947 in the first Cabinet of Independent Sri Lanka under Prime Minister D. S. Senanayake. He also served as the first High Commissioner (Ambassador) of Sri Lanka in Pakistan in 1950. He won praises from S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike19), then leader of the House in the State Council for a three hour long speech he made in 1944 in support of the Dominion Bill that paved the way for full independence for Sri Lanka.
 Dr. Jayah was also very much concerned about the education. He believed that equal educational qualification would eradicate the gap among the different ethnic groups. He emphasized that:  
    "The supreme need of the hour is education, not merely elementary education, not merely half hearted education, but an education that will turn out heroes and heroines, leaders and reformers, thinkers and philos-ophers, an education that will make us a progressive enlightened and powerful minority."20)
1. A road in Colombo 7 area named after a java (Malay) settlement in the past.
The formation of prominent societies of today's Muslim and Malay elites attributes to Dr. Jayah's initiatives that promoted education among the Muslim population, which included the Moors, the Malays, and the Mehmans etc.
 As indicated earlier, the Malays were primarily the soldiers, the policemen, and the fire brigades. They have a long history of service in the armed forces of Dutch Ceylan, British Ceylon and today in the multi-ethnic Sri Lanka. A police day is marked on March 21st every year to commemorate Police heroes, is the day on which a Malay PC named Sabhan laid down his life in 1864 becoming the first Police officer to die in action21). Although the number is small, the Malays continue to serve in the Armed and Police. Quite a number have made their sacrifice in the ethnic war with the Tamil separatists.
2. Members of Colombo Malay Cricket Club in Slave Island.
The Malays are also known to be impressive in their contribution to national sports in Sri Lanka. The history of Cricket in Sri Lanka records that the Colombo Malay Cricket Club founded in 1872 was the first cricket club in the island. The club has produced outstanding cricketers some of whom have represented Sri Lanka. They have also donned the Sri Lankan jersey in football and rugger. Some of them have even become captains of the national team and couched in swimming etc. The Malay sportsmen and sports women are also known excelling at other sports including Judo, Karate, Athletics and Netball bringing fame to Sri Lanka. The Malays aspire to contribute to the nation building of Sri Lanka by undertaking their share of duty while defending their legitimate rights. What rights to defend?
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