Tamils vow to stage feast at Naayaa'ru, disregard ‘advice’ on not to provoke monks

[TamilNet, Sunday, 30 June 2019, 10:37 GMT]
How about Tamils considering an approach of collaborating with the Sinhala Buddhist establishment and adopting a line without provoking the monks, the US Ambassador in Colombo recently asked a Tamil minister, informed sources in Colombo said. The SL minister was also working hard to contain the escalating dispute at Neeraaviyadi in Mullaiththeevu and at Kanniyaa in Trincomalee in an attempt to strike a compromise. However, the monks were not listening. They came with expanding plans of Neeraaviyadi and stepped up their hostile protests. The militant monks started to threaten the Tamils by naming and shaming a prominent activist of the anti-Mahaweli protests at a demonstration they staged recently at Neeraaviyadi. Now, the Tamil grassroots activists in Vanni have vowed to carry 108 Pongkal pots to the Pi'l'laiyaar temple at Neeraaviyadi on 06 July 2019 to stage a feast to their deity.

The advice from the US Ambassador was aimed at containing the extremist sections of the Sinhala monks who are also opposed to the next level of a defence pact with the SL State, the sources in Colombo said.

SL Minister Mano Ganesan was trying to contain the escalating confrontations in Mullaith-theevu and Trincomalee.

In the meantime, former Chief Minister of Northern Province, Justice C.V. Wigneswaran, has also urged the Tamil leaders to shed party differences in jointly demanding the SL State to scrap Mahaweli projects in the North-East.

The extremist sections in the South were using social media to spread hatred using modified photos and messages. They likened the objections coming from the Tamil grassroots activists as ‘Pongku Thamizh’.

Facebook campaign waged by Sinhala extremists against Tamil activists
Facebook campaign waged by Sinhala extremists against Tamil activists at Neeraaviyadi
“Co-existence overflows! A TNA MP storms in Gurukanda ancient [Buddhist] temple and forcibly conducts a Pongu Thamizh festival,” states a graphic, which was shared by them among the Sinhalese in the social media.

Now, the Tamils have chosen to carry 108 Pongka'l pots to their Neeraaviyadi Pi'l'laiyaar temple on 06 July.

Former NPC Councillor Thurairajah Raviharan said the intention of the feast was not aimed at provoking anyone. The devotees were only expressing their attachment to the Pi'l'laiyaar temple through the ritual.

A campaign message spread through the social media claimed the feast as a festival of Tamils.

Invitation to attend Pongkal feast on 06 July
Invitation to attend Pongkal feast on 06 July

The devotees would commence the ritual of ‘madap-pa'ndam-eduththal’ (Maṭappaṇṭam eṭuttal) from Koaddaik-kea'ni Pi'l'laiyaar temple in Kokkuth-thoduvaay to Neeraaviyadi, where they would be cooking Pongkal in 108 pots.

The trustee board of the temple is also backing the move.

* * *

A poster illustrating the ‘plan of Gurukanda Ancient Temple’ put-up at the vicinity claims that there was an ancient Buddhist temple, which was founded at the locality in the Buddhist Era (Sri Buddha Varsha) of 244.

The ‘plan’ lists 23 installations, from the name board to ‘unexcavated’ stupas, which are to be constructed further.

Neeraaviyadi expansion

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