2ND LEAD (Correction)

SL Navy transforms another hill-top into Sinhala Buddhist temple in Moothoor East

[TamilNet, Thursday, 03 January 2019, 22:56 GMT]
A small hill with an abode for Tamil deity Murukan has been slowly converted into a full-fledged Sinhala Buddhist temple during the last two years in Champoor, Moothoor East of Trincomalee district. The hill-top was absorbed into the so-called ‘high-security zone’ in 2016 for the expansion of the SL Navy's naval training base, SLNS Vidura. The transformation has taken place in all secret while Maththa'la-malai, which is facing Choodaik-kudaa (Shell Bay) of Trincomalee outside the military zone, gained focus last year. The SL Department of Archaeology seized the hill-top of Maththa'la-malai after creating controversy with the claim of finding artefacts associated with an ancient girth of a Cetiya which it claimed as existed in the ancient past at the locality.

The hill-top inside the SL Navy's ‘high-security zone’ is known for its Sri Murugan temple, that gave the name to the locality as well as to the nearby school, the resettled Tamils in Champoor said.

At least 3,200 acres of lands have been seized so far in the attempt to upgrade the SL Navy with a marine force, which is being groomed by the U.S. Indo Pacific Command under the notion of ‘military-to-military’ engagement.

Maththa'la-malai has been a place of worship for Eezham Tamils with a known Poosaari tradition for village deities for seven generations.

Similarly, the Sri Murukan worship has also existed for a long time, the residents said.

The Sinhala Buddhist establishment, with the institutional backing from the unitary state, was also scheming to convert Nalla-tha'n'ni-pi'l'laiyaaradi, another small hill-top with a natural water-source of potable water, into a Buddhist temple, the residents fear.

Last year, the SL Archaeology Department was also visiting the locality as well as the hill-tops of Thoa'nik-kal (named after a statue of Goddess Kaa'li had washed ashore in the past) and Karadi-malai.

The SL State is also planning to bring Sinhala settlers into Ilakkanthai, a fishing hamlet and an ancient settlement of Tamil Veddahs, located in the southeastern sector of Moothoor East in Trincomalee district.


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