Colombo arrests Tamil temple trustees after controversial behaviour by Sinhalese in East

[TamilNet, Monday, 01 January 2018, 23:17 GMT]
The occupying Sinhala police from Champoor in Trincomalee has arrested three trustees of the temple of Maththa'la-malai Murukan deity, which is situated on the small hill-top in Kooniththeevu. The arrests have come as a shock to the families and the Tamil devotees despite the negative media focus last week on the conduct of Sinhala officials and monks, who were attempting to the Sinhalicise the temple of the Tamil deity, which has known to exist at the locality for at least 7 generations. The arrests have taken place on New Year day on Monday around 6:00 p.m. The SL Archaeology Department has moved the case without proving the origin of the artefact discovered during the digging of a well for the Murukan temple, the devotees in Koonith-theevu further said.

Maththa'la-malai
The location of Maththa'la-malai in Kooniththeevu, near Champoor in Moothoor East of Trincomalee district
Maththa'la-malai
Maththa'la-malai
The chairman of the temple board Mr S. Jegatheeswaran (55) and its treasurer Mr I Chandramohan, both of whom are family men and along with Secretary S. Nijanthan (27) were detained by the police in Champoor and remanded until 04 January after they were taken to the residence of the Judge at Moothoor, initial reports said.

The SL Police invited the three representatives for a conversation and placed them under arrest at the police station causing panic amongst the families and friends of the board management.

Last week, Sinhala monks from Seruwila intervened twice when a stone artefact, the identity of which is yet to be established, came across at the locality where construction of a well was going on.

Sinhala monks and officials intervened with hasty claims that it was a Sinhala Buddhist locality in the past.

Tamil devotees peacefully protested against the move for Sinhala Buddhicisation based on false Theravada claims.

The Tamil devotees also exposed how the wife of the Sinhala colonial governor to East Mrs Deepthi Bogollagama desecrated the temple premises and threatened the devotees while Mr Bogollagama was offering to transport water to prayers as the construction work had been stalled, due to the controversial claim by the Sinhala Buddhist monks and the SL Archaeology Department.



The people who were uprooted from the previously LTTE administrated Moothoor East in 2006 were partially allowed to resettle in the area after 2013. The Tamil devotees started to re-construct the destroyed temple for Murukan deity in August 2013.

Although the SL police was claiming that it had also detained three Sinhala workers who were contracted by the temple management, the information is yet to be verified.



Maththa'la-malai
The location of Maththa'la-malai in Kooniththeevu
Moothoor East
Moothoor East [Image Courtesy: British made One Inch Map, revised in 1972 by 'Sri Lanka' Survey Department]


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