Temple officials arrested over funds

[TamilNet, Monday, 01 February 1999, 22:08 GMT]
The President and Treasurer of the trustee board of the Periyathambiraan temple of Periyaneelaavanai were arrested this morning by a team of commandos from the Special Task Force camp in Kaaraitheevu, 45 kilometers south of Batticaloa.

Periyaneelaavanai is an old Tamil village about 34 kilometers south of Batticaloa by the main trunk road to Kalmunai from the eastern town.

The trustee board president, T.Thiruchelvam, and its treasurer, K.Nadarajah, were at the Periyathambiraan shrine this morning to supervise the renovation work on the temple that was ceremonially inaugurated yesterday when the STF arrived at the scene and hauled them off to the Kaaraitheevu camp.

The STF also confiscated the money collected from the village for the renovation work which was in the possession of the treasurer of the temple board at the time.

The matter was brought to the notice of M.H.M Subair, a member of the Kalmunai Pradeshiya Sabha who in turn got in touch with TULF MP for Batticaloa K. Thurairajasingham.

The MP made inquiries and found that the STF had arrested the two temple officials on information that they were collecting money for the Tigers.

The two were released this evening after the financial affairs of the temple were clearly explained to Sarath Silva, the officer in charge (OIC) of the Special Task Force camp in Kaaraitheevu.

The Sri Lankan security forces in the east view with suspicion the activities of village Tamil temples which they think sometimes assist the Tigers by contributing to the separatist cause from trustee board funds.

This is why the STF did not hesitate to haul off the temple officials so unceremoniously today, explained an associate of the TULF MP today.

Ninety percent of the personnel in the STF are Sinhala Buddhist. The others in this elite police commando unit are Sinhala Christians and Muslims.

 

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