Mullaiththeevu residents resume deity rituals after confronting intruding Sinhala group

[TamilNet, Sunday, 16 September 2018, 20:33 GMT]
The Tamil residents of Kumuzha-munai and Tha'n'ni-mu'rippu villages in Karai-thu'raip-pattu division of Mullaiththeevu district on Sunday staged a ‘Padaiyal’ ritual to their village deity at Kurunthoor-malai after Mullaiththeevu Magistrate on Thursday lifted the restraining order, which had come into force following the controversies earlier this month. A group of Sinhala youth, led by two extremist Theravada Buddhist monks, attempted to erect a Buddha statue at the hilltop of Kurunthoor-malai, a place with traces of ancient heritage in the country of Eezham Tamils, causing ethnic tension at the site. SL Forest Department guards and SL military intelligence soldiers wearing civilian clothes had accompanied the intruding mob, which was besieged by a group of vigilant Tamil youth on 04 September.

The Sinhala extremist group was having a written document issued by the SL Archaeology Department in Sinhala, which stated they were ‘authorised’ to engage in conservation work.

Furthermore, two men in the group also claimed that they belonged to SL Archaeology Department without any identity documents to substantiate their claim.

The SL Police was also backing the intruders but was unable to confront the villagers as more than one hundred villagers had mobilised.

The plan to erect a Buddha statue at Kurunthoor-malai was spoiled as the Tamil residents mobilised against the intrusion.

If the group had proceeded with placing the Buddha statue, it would have been difficult to legally confront their claim at the courts, Tamil lawyers who represented the interests of the villagers said.

14 Tamil lawyers were present at the courts on Wednesday.

Mullaiththeevu Magistrate S. Lenin Kumar, who was hearing the case, lifted the interim order and said the rituals being observed by the residents at the hilltop could proceed.

The monks with no connection to the hill were barred from continuing their plans of so-called conservation.

The Magistrate also stated that there were no legal grounds to erect new statues, temples or any other places of worship under cover of archaeological preservation. He also demanded an official explanation from the SL Archaeological Department.

Furthermore, the archaeological interventions carried out in a hostile manner would escalate ethnic tensions, the Magistrate observed stating that any such exercise should be carried out with the participation of the Archaeological Department of the University of Jaffna and with the involvement of experienced residents at the locality.

“This is only a temporary victory”, a lawyer who didn't wish to be named, told TamilNet.

Until the ‘Buddhism foremost’ clause of the unitary constitution of genocidal Sri Lanka is effectively stopped in the traditional homeland of Eezham Tamils in the North-East, the extremist Sinhala monks backed by the institutionalised state mechanisms in the South would be resuming their sinister plans, they said.

Only a political solution to the national question could put an end to cultural and heritage genocide as well as the structural genocide that have been accelated after the physical genocide in May 2009, they added.



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