SL military stops renovation of Hindu temple, appropriates Islamic burial ground in Ampaa’rai
Interfering in the religious freedom of Hindus and Muslims in Ampaa’rai, the occupying Sinhala military has appropriated an Islamic burial ground at Koddukkal in Poththuvil division of the district while instructing the administration of an ancient Murukan temple, worshipped by the Saivites for centuries, to stop the renovation of the temple. The head of the Murukan temple administration at Changkaman-ka’ndi in Thirukkoayil, Mr. Nakalingam, on Wednesday said that the SL military personnel who had come from Kaagnchirang-kudaa military base instructed the temple administration to immediately stop the renovation work being undertaken at the temple. The SL Army had told the temple administration that they were acting on behalf of the SL Archeology Department in Colombo.
The head of the elected civic body in Poththuvil, Mr M Subair, blamed that the Sinhala military from Oo’ra’ni camp has appropriated the Islamic burial ground at Koddukkal without approaching the divisional secretary or any of the civil officials in the division. The SL military has already surveyed the lands and appropriated it, he said.
Mr Nakalingam of the Hindu temple administration at Changkaman-ka’ndi accused the SL military for interfering in the religious affairs, questioning how the SL military could act on behalf of the Archeology Department.
Hindu Makaa Chapai in Ampaa’rai was engaged in the renovation of the temple with the support of the devotees, he said adding that the Murukan temple, situated at the top of a hill, is one of the ancient places of worships of the Saivites in the region.
The temple has also remained a key place of solace for the pilgrims towards the historic Kathirkaamam temple, Mr Nakalingam said, adding that he had complained to relevant authorities of Hindu affairs, divisional secretary and the SL Government Agent of Ampaa’rai district.
The Sinhala soldiers of the Sri Lanka Army and the ‘counter-insurgency’ trained commandos of the Special Task Force (STF) which comes under the SL Police Department, have been deployed in chasing Tamils away from the ancient Tamil settlements in Ampaa’rai for years. The only protecting mechanism of the Tamils in the past had been the heavy presence of a guerilla fighting formation of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in the jungles of Ampaa’rai.
The Barathiya Janata Party (BJP) that is proposing to build a Sita temple near Colombo, based on constructed myths, could very well work for protecting the existing temples of real heritage. Do they have guts to build the ancient Siva temple found in ruins at Dondra Head, the southernmost tip of the island, the Saiva activists in the East ask.
Meanwhile, the Rajapaksa-SLMC collaborated administration was secretly blessed by India to carry out the New Delhi – Colombo agenda of demographic changes against Tamils and Tamil-speaking Muslims in an accelerated way in the East. They did it earlier by using Karuna and Pillaiyan and now they use the SLMC, informed circles said.