Sri Lanka - Ethnic groups



According to official 1999 data, the Sinhalese constitute the largest population group, making up 74% of the total population. Sri Lankan Tamils (descendants of medieval invaders from India) total 18%; Sri Lankan Moors 7%; Burghers (descended from the Dutch), Malays (mostly of Arab extraction), and Veddas account for 1%. The Veddas are a small aboriginal tribe located in the most inaccessible forest regions of southeastern Sri Lanka.

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