Buddhist monk on Sinhalicisation project in Batticaloa causes ethnic disharmony
Venerable Ambitiya Sumanarathna Thera, the head of the Buddhist temple in Batticaloa, who conducted a fast-unto-death campaign in the year 2010 demanding Colombo to post Sinhala officers to all government departments in the predominantly Tamil-speaking district, has been waging a new fast-unto-death campaign from Tuesday this week. The new campaign is targeted against Tamils, who have been demanding resettlement in their occupied lands by documenting their land deeds. The monk, putting forward a false claim that officials in Batticaloa were issuing false land deeds to Tamils, claimed that the lands belonged to Sinhalese. He ended the fast-unto-death campaign after Colombo’s paramilitary operative and a deputy minister in Rajpaksa’s cabinet, Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan, met the prelate and promised to forward his appeal to SL President on Wednesday.
Following the 2010 campaign by the monk of the Mangala Raja Maha Vihara in Batticaloa, Sinhala officials have been deployed in almost all the key government institutions of the district.
The monk had demanded Sinhala officiers to be appointed to the Courts, District Secretariat, and Divisional Secretariats in 2010 and had called of his hunger strike in that instant on the promise by the Colombo government to implement his demands in due course.
Since then top-level Sinhala officers are appointed to the Eastern University and to all government institutions. Minor grade employees from south are also being posted to the district.
The monk launched the new campaign following the request of SL authorities in Colombo, Tamil officials in the district alleged.
The prelate is widely considered as a mouthpiece of the Colombo government in Batticaloa, making unjust demands to the authorities and creating dissension among communities. He has also been projecting “Mahinda Chindana” of the SL president in the district.