Sinhala Army destroys statues of historic Saiva temple in Batticaloa
The Sinhala military occupying Batticaloa has destroyed several tradtional stone-statues at the historic Thaanthaamalai Murukan temple, situated in Paddippazhai DS division of Batticaloa district. The temple, revered by Saivaites in the East as ‘Chinna Kathirkaamam’ and the land of 25 acres around it, were declared in 1959 as a Saiva Sacred Area according to the decree entered by the Court of Law in Ceylon. The area, which was safeguarded by the Tamil Tigers for more than 12 years since 1994, has now been subjected to the intrusion of Colombo’s Archaeology Department and the SL Army after the war. The villagers allege that Colombo is attempting to construct a Buddhist stupa on the land that belongs to the historic Saiva temple.
The occupying SLA soldiers on 18 May destroyed several statues and other sculptures made up of granite stone and desecrated the temple, according to a complaint lodged with the SL Police in Kokkaddich-choalai by the temple authorities.
Batticaloa district Tamil National Alliance (TNA) parliamentarian P.Ariyanethran, on the invitation of the temple authority, visited the temple, which was subjected to desecration and destruction by the occupying SLA.
Those who were attempting to construct a Buddhist Vihare in the area, the MP said, have desecrated the temple.
“I visited the temple on Saturday, 02 June, and saw the destruction caused on the Kanthavea’l temple, which Swami Muthiah had used for meditation,” Mr.Ariynaethran said.
No action had been taken by the SL authorities despite repeated complaints by the temple authorities. They also have sent a memorandum to SL President Mahinda Rajapaksa, urging him to take immediate steps to stop the construction of the Buddhist Vihare.
Thaanthaamalai and its neighbouring villages have been the home of Tamil Saivites for ages.
The intruding Sinhala Buddhist monks, with the assistance of the Sri Lanka Army, have also occupied the Saiva temple at Kachchat-kodi Swamimalai village in the Paddippazhai division.