Unidentified squads that came in heavy vehicles to three Saiva temples in Ka’luvaagnchik-kudi in Batticaloa district on Saturday midnight forcibly entered the temples and robbed the temples, stealing historic bronze statues, golden plates, jewellery and cash. Civil sources in the district suspect that the attack on temples, following the recent protest against the move by Buddhist extremists to install a Buddha statue at the entrance to the Batticaloa city, has been carried out by the SL military intelligence, which has threatened the protestors during their protest on Wednesday. Altogether 19 idols have been removed from one of the temples, situated 20 km south of Batticaloa city on Batticaloa – Kalmunai Road.
Kurukka’l-madam Chellak-kathirkaamam Koayil, Kurukka’lmadam Aianaar Koayil and Maang-kaadu Pi’l’laiyaar Koayil in Ka’luvaagnchik-kudi were the temples that were forcibly opened and burgled by the squads that came in heavy vehicles Saturday night.
Valuable historic bronze statues, golden plates, jewellery and several thousand rupees in cash were stolen away by the squads, according to complaints lodged with the SL Police in Ka’luvaagnchik-kudi.
The people of Ka’luvaagchik-kudi say that these robberies are not isolated incidents.
There has also been a controversy over a Buddha statue erected by the occupying Sri Lankan elite commandos, the Special Task Force (STF), last month near Kallaa’ru bridge in the Ka’luvaagnchik-kudi area where the robberies have now targeted the Saiva deities, news sources further said.
Batticaloa district Tamil National Alliance (TNA) parliamentarians Messrs P. Selvarasa, C. Yogeswaran, P. Ariyanethran and Eastern Provincial Council member R. Thurairatnam have visited the three temples and witnessed the extent of the damage caused to these temples.
Tamil National Alliance (TNA) parliamentarians, Tamil councillors of the Eastern Province and the members of the Saiva community on Wednesday staged a protest against the erection of statue of Lord Buddha at the entrance to the Batticaloa city.
SL military intelligence personnel were confronting the protestors taking close-up photos of the participants of the peaceful protest in a threatening manner.
As a result, a tense situation prevailed for a while. Prompted by the harassment by the SL military intelligence, TNA parliamentarian Mr S. Yogeswaran, in turn said he has taken photographs of the intelligence personnel harassing the public and said that he would hold them responsible if any untoward incident befell the peaceful participants.
In the meantime, the Batticaloa Magistrate has issued an injunction order prohibiting the construction of the Buddha statue at the entrance to the city.
However, the chief Buddhist monk at the Mangalarama Buddhist temple in Batticaloa has vowed to appeal the decision by the court in Batticaloa and to resume the construction of the controversial statue at the same site.