In a letter to the UN Special Rapporteur on Religious Freedom, Mr. Heiner Bielefelt, the Prime Minister of Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE), Mr. Visuvanathan Rudrakumaran, urged the UN Rapporteur to visit Sri Lanka to investigate an attack on a Mosque by Buddhist monks and Government’s actions to close that Mosque and Hindu Temples.
"We urge you to immediately visit Sri Lanka, as the Government of Sri Lanka has failed to protect religions other than the State religion Buddhism" said Mr. Rudrakumaran. "Destruction of Tamil and Muslim places of worship warrants the need for an International Protection Mechanism."
"Buddhist Monks are very powerful in Sri Lanka. A Buddhist Monk shot and killed a Prime Minister in 1958 for having dialogue with Tamils. Buddhist Monks also have a political party called Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU), which is part of the Government. One of their representatives is an influential Cabinet Minister," said the letter.
On April 20th, a violent a mob of about 2,000, led by high ranking Buddhist monks, stormed and vandalized a 60 year old mosque during the Friday prayer, in a town called Dambulla. The Police stood idly and allowed the mob to attack the Mosque. So far no one has been arrested or any criminal action brought against the attackers. On Sunday the 22nd of April, the Prime Minister’s office released a statement ordering closure of the Mosque. In 2011, an Islamic Sufi shrine was destroyed by a mob led by Buddhist monks in the north central town of Anuradhapura.
Additionally, a sixty year old Hindu Temple in the city of Trincomale was ordered to shut down by the Sri Lankan Defense Ministry. This Temple is preparing to have its festival on July 5th. According to Minority Rights Group, since the end of the war, several Hindu Temples are replaced by Buddhist Temples in Tamil homeland, including one close to the historic Thirukethiswaram temple.
There are also reports of Buddhist statues being erected in Catholic areas in the Mannar district. The historic Madu Church, one of the ancient churches in Asia, is located in Mannar,. The Buddhist political party (JHU) also called for the arrest of Bishop Dr. Rayappu Joseph, for a letter he wrote to the UN.
For a copy of the letter or information contact: Mr. J. Jeyaprakash – Spokesperson of the PM Office and a Member of the TGTE Parliament at: (646) 363-6418 or [email protected]
*Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) is a democratically elected government of Tamil Diaspora from the island of Sri Lanka. Its actions are strictly non-violent, democratic and diplomatic. It held internationally supervised elections in twelve countries to elect Members of Parliament (MPs). These MPs drafted and ratified a Constitution and elected a Prime Minister, a 10 member Cabinet and a Speaker. Web: www.tgte-us.org, www.govthamileelam.org or www.en.naathamnews.com