Colombo revives hostility through controversial Buddha statue in Ampaa’rai

[TamilNet, Sunday, 03 September 2017, 22:17 GMT]
Sinhala extremist monks led by Ranmuthugala Dhammarathana Thero from Kalmunai deployed a fresh attempt on Saturday to put up a road link to Maayak-kalli hillock where they had forcibly placed a Buddha statue amidst opposition from Tamils and Muslims in October 2016. In the meantime, Sinhala officials comprising of SL Colonial Governor of Colombo, Provincial Land Commissioner of the Eastern Province, SL Government Agent of Ampaa'rai District and archaeologists of the SL State have been promoting the erection of Buddha statue and the project of establishing an access route to the hillock linking it with the main road. The project is also promoted by the extremist Buddhist Power Force (Bodu Bala Sena). The hillock, known as Maayak-kalli-malai is located between the Tamil village of Maa'nikka-madu and the Muslim village of Varip-paddaagn-cheanai, 14 km southwest of Ampaa'rai town.

This time, the intruding monks and their Sinhala supporters were trying to expand their plan of putting up an access route towards the hillock through a piece of land that belongs to a Tamil villager, T. Nagarasa.

Tamil-speaking Muslim villagers quickly mobilized to protest against the move, prompting the Eastern Provincial Health Minister Mohammed Nazir to rush to the spot.

The occupying Sinhala military was present providing ‘security’ to the intruding monks and their supporters.

Maa'nikka-madu
Buddha statue placed by Sinhala Monks at the hilltop of Ma'nikka-madu on 29 October, 2016


Sinhala extremists are trying to set the communities against each other by exploiting the downtrodden among the poverty-stricken individuals among both the Tamils and the Muslims, commented Tamil-speaking political observers in the East.

There are around 150 Tamil families that live in the area. The war-affected Tamil families have been complaining that Muslims had encroached into their lands during their displacement. The extremist monks have seized the opportunity to advance their agenda, they further said.

Earlier this year, Provincial Land Commissioner Anura Dharmadhasa, a Sinhalese, was using his position to propose alternative lands elsewhere to a Muslim family that was complaining that the monks had illegally seized the lands belonging to the family. Mr Dharmadhasa was openly backing the monks at a meeting organised by Ampaa'rai Government Agent Thusitha P.Wanigasinghe, who is also a Sinhalese.

The Sinhala Establishment is targeting all the hillocks located in Tamil-speaking areas of the Eastern Province, from Trincomalee North to Ampaa'rai to put up Buddha statues and Sinhalicise the areas, the Tamil-speaking political observers noted.

In the meantime, the SL State in Colombo has been systematically promoting tourism from South to East to sustain the Sinhalicisation project.

At the same time, the occupying SL military has been facilitating the infrastructure to the visiting Sinhala pilgrims and the tourists from the South.


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