SLA to construct Buddhist Vihare on private property

[TamilNet, Friday, 02 January 2004, 15:55 GMT]
Seventy eight year old father of five children, Mr Vethavanam Varathalingam of 3rd Mile Post, Mulliayadi has appealed to the Human Rights Commission (HRC) to help him to get his five acre paddy land from Sri Lanka Army occupation, civil rights sources said. Mulliayadi is located along Thampalakamam-Kinniya road in Trincomalee.

Varathalingam has brought to the notice of the HRC that the Trincomalee district organizer of the United National Party (UNP), main constituent of the ruling United National Front government, is planning to use one acre from his paddy land to build a permanent Buddhist Vihare.

He has pointed out to the HRC that already the government security forces occupying his property since 1990 have constructed a small Buddhist shrine and installed a statue of Lord Buddha.

The historic Palampoddar Paththini Amman temple, which is venerated by Hindus, is located sixteen km off southwest of Trincomalee on Trincomalee-Colombo main trunk road close to Mr.Varathalingam’s paddy land.

Till the Sri Lanka Army established its camp near Palampoddar Bridge in 1990 there was no Buddhist shrine or Buddha statue in the area. The army soldiers installed a statue of Lord Buddha next to the statue of Hindu God Pilliayar on one side of the bridge after they occupied the area.

Later soldiers constructed a small Buddhist shrine with a statue of Lord Buddha in Mr. Varathalingam's land.

Now SLA soldiers located in the area have taken steps to construct a big Vihare in the paddy land, Tamil sources said.

Mr.Varathalingam’s letter follows: -

“I am Vethavanam Varathalingam. I am of the age of 78 years, and living below the poverty line. I am an allottee of a paddy land in extent of 05 acres at Pallampoddar by the government and I have been cultivating the land till 1990. I was displaced during the 1990 disturbances and could not cultivate this land thereafter.

“Now the government security forces are in occupation of my land. I brought this to the notice of the Senior Superintendent of Police in Kantalai and he ordered the parties concerned to hand over this land to me. The Government Agent of Trincomalee district also said that my land would be handed over to me. But still the government security forces are in occupation and I am unable to cultivate the land

“Now the Trincomalee district organizer of the UNP Mr.Ranjinie Senasinghe is attempting to construct a Buddhist Vihare on my paddy land. She has approached the Trincomalee Government Agent regarding this. Even the Superintendent of Survey in Kantalai has sent me a letter to be present on December 31 at the paddy land as he is going to survey it. I objected to it in writing to the Superintendent of Survey as well as to the Government Agent.

“My five children and I are expecting income from this paddy land for our existence. Hence I most humbly beg of you to see that land is given back to me in full extent as early as possible. The copies of my letter addressed to various authorities are annexed hereto for the perusal and consideration of the HRC."


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