In another military high-handedness, a military camp has been set up at the site of a Saiva temple in Ka’n’naki-ipuram, four years after the end of the war. The temple management and villagers of Ka’n’naki-ipuram have protested the unwarranted setting up of an SL military camp at the Murukan temple in Akkaraip-pattu. The devotees and their representatives have demanded that the camp be removed and temple be handed over to the village.
The demand has been made in a letter addressed to SL Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapakse.
The people belonging this to area had relocated in 1990 due to the war and the Sri Lankan Special Task Force (STF) occupied the temple and set up a military camp at an education centre that belonged to the temple. It is now over two decades. The displaced people have returned to the area. However, the camp set up by the STF is still there.
The temple was handed over to the villagers on July 30 2010. The temple was then in dilapidated condition and renovation works were undertaken soon after. A 21 feet tall Murukan statue was erected and the people began to hold daily poojas in the temple.
Meanwhile, the occupying SL military has again set up a camp at the educational centre near the temple on April 14 this year.
The SL military also asked the temple authorities to handover a building in the temple premises for use by their hierarchy. The villagers however refused to do so.
Last May, the SL military forcibly took over the land by erecting fences around the temple and ordered the temple management to stop the renovation works and handover the construction material to them.
The action only begets hatred towards the SL military especially since it has been over three years after war, the letter sent to Gotabhaya Rajapaksa states.
The religious environment has been harmed by the deployment of the military and the people find it difficult to visit the temple and offer prayers.