SL Police releases statue desecration suspect following political influence
A suspect arrested by the Sri Lankan police in connection with the desecration of Swami Vivekananda in Batticaloa was released on bail due to the intervention of MLAM Hisbullah, a deputy minister in the Mahinda Rajapaksa led government. The statue of 18th century Vedantic spiritual leader of Hinduism, situated in the border of Tamil dominated Aaraiyampathi and Muslim dominated Kaaththaankudi, was desecrated by a motorbike squad Tuesday last week. The SL Police arrested a man, an eyewitness, following the incident and released him. Later, Vahawan alias Vadi, a Muslim person who owns a hardware store in Kaaththaankudi, was arrested by the SL Police in Kaaththaankudi.
Due to the intervention of Mr. Hisbullah, the suspect was released by the police after two hours of his detention in the police station. The suspect, alleged to have committed several crimes in the past in Batticaloa, has been evading arrest due to political influence, sources in Kaaththaankudi said.
Civil organizations have requested the authorities to initiate necessary steps to repair the damaged statue as the culprit for the crime had been identified.
The destruction is viewed as an attempt to create further divisions between Tamils and Muslims in the district.
Certain elements in the ruling UPFA were protesting against the use of Arabic in the East in the beginning of 2011.
Later, in September 2011, name boards in Tamil were destroyed by an unknown squad, who were believed to be operatives of the military establishment in 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.