Motorbike squad destroys Swami Vivekananda statue in Batticaloa
A group of men who came in motorbikes Tuesday around 00:30 a.m. destroyed the statue of Swami Vivekananda, a well known Vedantic spiritual leader of Hinduism from the 18th century. The statue, located in front of a fuel filling station on Batticaloa Kalmunai Road (A4) and is regarded locally as a border mark of Tamil dominated Aaraiyampathi and Muslim dominated Kaaththaankudi in Batticaloa district. The destruction is viewed as an attempt to create further divisions between Tamils and Muslims in the district. The SL police is allegedly involved in activities creating dissension between Tamils and Muslims by engineering such attacks, informed sources in Kaaththaankudi told TamilNet Tuesday.
The hands, legs, face of the statue were badly damaged.
A watcher of the fuel filling station, who witnessed the motorbike squad, was taken into custody by the SL Police in Kaaththaankudi.
Certain elements in the ruling UPFA were protesting against the use of Arabic in the East in the beginning of 2011.
Later, in September, name boards in Tamil were destroyed by an unknown squad, allegedly operatives of Colombo.
The welcome board “Va’nakkam, Batticaloa welcomes you” in Tamil was removed and the Sri Lankan police was spreading a rumour that certain Muslim leaders, including the Batticaloa Urban Council chairman considered “Va’nakkam” in Tamil as harem at that time.
In the meantime, M.L.A.M.Hisbullah, a deputy minister in the Rajapaksa government has condemned the attack on the Swami Vivekananda statue as an irresponsible act of some ‘criminal elements’.