3RD LEAD (Adds video, tweet from controversial monk)

Sinhala monk named Galgamuwe ‘Santhabodhi’ spearheads Buddhicisation of Mullaiththeevu

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 05 June 2019, 23:20 GMT]
A group of Sinhala colonists from the remote places along the Trincomalee - Mullaiththeevu district border accompanied Galgamuwe Santhabodhi Thero to stage a protest at Neeraaviyadi in Naayaa’ru, Mullaith-theevu, on Wednesday. Meanwhile, the SL Police was chasing away the Tamil journalists who went to cover the protest. The latest move, opposing the Tamils restoring their Saiva temple rights, comes as the extremist monk was emboldened after the hunger strike staged by Athuraliye Rathana Thero demanding the SL State to act against the Muslim governors and ministers, was yielding results in favour of their demands, commented Tamil activists in Mullaiththeevu.

Tweet by Santhabodhi thero
A sophisticated Islamophopic tweet from Santhabodhi thero in Sinhala reads like this: “Every sinhalese should realise that all Muslim leaders are focused on one goal. Even though they are divided into various political parties to mislead the world, they have one goal. Therefore, more than any other period in the past, this is a time we all Sinhalese should stick together. If we get divided now, we will never make it right. That will be the end of our Buddhist country.”

Galgamuwe Santhabodhi Thero is also running a foundation named ‘Sri Shakyaputhra Foundation’ to fund the 6,000 Sinhala settlers, mainly targeting around 2,000 young school-going children with various programmes. The monk is also facilitating funds for business start-ups and ad-hoc rations donations to the colonists within the 21 villages of colonised ’’Ma’nal-aa’ru (Weli-Oya) since February 2018.

A group of Tamil devotees, who went to restore the Tamil name board at the Hindu temple in Neeraaviyadi after securing court orders in favour of their claims, were treated as criminals by the Sinhala police officers at the locality on 26 May.

On the following day, the SL Police OICs of Kokku'laay and Mullaiththeevu assaulted and verbally abused a Tamil journalist, K. Kumanan, who had reported the biased conduct of the SL Police.

The monks claim that the place was an ancient Buddhist area with five stupas and have planned a broad occupation of the coastal stretch that belongs to Eezham Tamils.

Protest in Neeraaviyadi
Galgamuwe Santhabodhi Thero is the overall supervisor of the Sinhala Buddhicisation in Mullaiththeevu as well as Vavuniyaa North and Pulmoaddai in Trincomalee

An Extraordinary Gazette notification, issued in 2013 (1823/73) during the times of Rajapaksa rule, identified 48 locations as Buddhist heritage monuments in Mullaiththeevu district alone.

However, the controversial constructions in violation of the court orders have been accelerated during the regime of Maithiripala Sirisena and Ranil Wickramasinghe after 2015. SL military, as well as influential ministers of the cabinet dominated by the UNP, have been backing the extremist monks.

In 2018, the Northern Provincial Council which was led by Justice C.V. Wigneswaran had registered 131 Sinhala Buddhicisation projects as cropping up in the province after 2009. Of these, 67 installations have been put up in the district of Mullaiththeevu, the NPC officials said in June 2018.

Protest in Neeraaviyadi
Sinhala colonists brought from remote places to stage a protest at Neeraaviyadi
Neeraaviyadi protest
SL Police is staying permanently at the locality to provide security to the incumbent monk and the visiting Sinhala colonists as well as the visitors from South
Kolamba Medhalankara Thero
Kolamba Medhalankara Thero is the ‘chief incumbent’ of the so-called Gurukanda Purana Rajamaha Vihara at Neeraaviyadi in Naayaa'ru. He has been staying with the SL military for the past 8 years. SL Police is also providing security to him at the locality [File Photo]

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