to install an old orthography Malayalam Unicode font which is required to read the posts below]
A. R. Raja Raja Varma states in his Keralapanineeyam that "anuswaram is the chill~ of ma". Thus we can say that Malayalam has got more than one anuswarams. There is anuswaram for ma; there is anuswaram for na, Na, la etc. This is essentially same as saying Malayalam got some number of 'chillus' which includes ma, na, la etc.
If you look closely the phonetic rules are also same for anuswaram maand other chills. Most importantly the half stop property, if itoccurs in the middle of a word. eg:
Essentially this means Unicode should do either of:
1. include separate character locations for existing chillus
- solves the confusion of ല്
- addresses other chillu representation issues
2. allow anuswaram to be encoded as 'ma' + Virama + ZWJ.
- does not change existing encoding for chillus
- does not address other chillu representation issues