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Sri Lankans

After Sri Lankan independence in 1948, some Burghers or Sri Lankans of Dutch, Portuguese or British ancestry sought entry into Australia, and by 1954 around 2000 Sri Lankans had been accepted. As intake restrictions loosened in the 1970s, and after the civil and political unrest in Sri Lanka from the early 1980s, Sinhalese, Tamil and Muslim immigration increased. Approximately half of Australia's Sri Lankan-born population lives in Victoria, with the vast majority making their home in Melbourne, many in Dandenong, Springvale, Noble Park and Moorabbin. Community organisations include the United Sri Lankan Muslim Association (1990), the Committee for Sri Lanka (1993), the Sri Lankan Association of Victoria (formerly the Ceylon Club of Australia) and the Australia Sri Lanka Council (1994). Sri Lankan Independence Day (4 February) and the Sinhalese and Hindu New Year (14 April) are popularly celebrated community festivals; Sri Lankan programs feature on community radio, while Sri Lankan restaurants are a popular feature of shopping strips in Central Melbourne, Hawthorn, Brunswick, Northcote and Dandenong.

Andrew May

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