VVT Sivan Temple holds Ther festival

[TamilNet, Friday, 21 March 2008, 12:13 GMT]
Chariot festival at the historic Sivan Temple in Valveddiththu'rai, the spring board of Tamil armed struggle and the home town of Leader of Liberation Tigers, Pirapaharan, was held Thursday amidst continued military activities and travel restrictions, sources in Jaffna said. Thousands of devotees from many parts of the peninsula attended the grand festival, and local residents exhibited their determination to preserve the culture and heritage.

VVT Sivan Koayil Chariot Festival
VVT Sivan Koayil Ther festival and devotees

VVT Sivan Koayil Chariot Festival
Devotees at the VVT chariot festival
VVT Sivan Koayil Chariot Festival
VVT boats left at temple premises due to SLA ban on fishing
A large number of senior members of the Liberation Tigers were also born in this area where the seeds for independence was planted nearly three decades ago.

Valveddiththu’rai is also home to three historic Hindu temples, the Sivan Temple, Muththumaariamman Temple, and the Aathiyanaadu Pillaiyaar Temple. The centuries old Sivan temple was managed and maintained for many generations by Pirapaharan’s family and their ancestors.

In addition, during the past 25 years, the residents in the area have faced untold hardships and mass scale displacements. More than sixty percent of the families in the area were forced to flee the country to escape from the atrocities of the armed forces and have settled in India and many western countries.

However, a large number of people displaced from other areas of the peninsula have arrived here, have occupied the vacant homes, and have become part of the indigenous population.

Though fishing in restricted zones is permitted in many other parts of the peninsula, SLA has imposed a total ban on fishing in the seas of VVT pointing out its close proximity to the Kaangkeasanthu'rai and Mayiliddi Harbours.

SLA also has refused permission to park the fishing boats near the coast and has ordered them to be stored at a distance of 600 metres from the coast close to the Temple premises. The boats blocking the roads leading to the temple have been causing great hindrance to the devotees as well as the local residents.

Since the ethnic violence of 1983 July, VVT civilians have faced huge loss of lives due to revenge killings, destructions of property, and were also subjected to frequent displacements. Military activities of Sri Lankan Army ( SLA), a large number of people from the area have been killed in the interior areas as well while engaged in fishing in the sea.

During the 1987 Operation Liberation launched by SLA, the civilians suffered large scale loss of life due to bombardment by Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) jets and other SLA perpetrated massacres in the town areas and suburbs.

In 1990 there were further killings due to two weeks of aerial attacks in the area. When the SLA moved into the peninsula in 1995 to capture the North, the civilians in the area were once again subjected to unbearable misery and agony.

VVT Sivan Koayil Chariot Festival
Naathaswaram and Thavil at the festival
VVT Sivan Koayil Chariot Festival
VVT boats left at temple premises due to SLA ban on fishing


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