3RD LEAD (Adds video)

Sinhala goons confront protesters at Kanniyaa, priest, landowner subjected to “hot water assault”

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 16 July 2019, 11:31 GMT]
The occupying SL Army and the police were blocking more than five hundred peaceful protesters on Anuradhapura Road 1 km away from Kanniyaa Hot Wells on Tuesday when the Eezham Tamil grassroots activists mobilised to express peaceful resistance to the SL State-sponsored act of heritage genocide. At the same time, the SL Police had allowed tens of Sinhala goons to enter the temple site in advance to be prepared to assault Tamils if anyone managed to reach the venue. Heated arguments ensued between the Sinhala police and the Tamil protesters. Finally, unable to withstand the protesters, the SL Police allowed two representatives to proceed to Kanniyaa Hot Wells. Saivaist priest Akaththiyar Adika'laar and Mrs Ganesh Kokilaramany, the landowner and trustee of the temple, accompanied the police. On their way, Sinhala street sellers who had mobilised at the entrance poured hot water at them.

The SL Police brought the two representatives back to the Tamil protesters without taking any action against the attackers.

The Tamil protesters at the venue were provoked when they learned about the assault.

SL Police and SL military accompanied by Sinhala goons at Kanniyaa confronting Tamil protesters
SL Police and SL military accompanied by Sinhala goons at Kanniyaa confronting Tamil protesters

Kanniyaa protest
Kanniyaa protest
Kanniyaa protest
Kanniyaa protest
However, the organisers of the protest managed to control their anger and urged the participants to express their resistance peacefully.

The Tamil organisers of the protest urged the SL Police to allow their representatives or group of people to stage a prayer inside the temple lands.

However, the Sinhala police sophisticatedly denounced that request with the backing of Sinhala street vendors threatening the Saiva priest and the trustee of the temple with a “hot water” attack.

The Tamil demonstrators also witnessed masked SL soldiers and police commandos on the street.

The occupying Sinhala Army was also harassing Tamil journalist K. Kumanan. He has already been targeted by the SL military in Vanni for his coverage of Neeraaviyadi heritage dispute. The journalist had to argue with the SL military that it would amount to abduction if he were to be held back from the fellow travellers.

The bus he was travelling from Vanni with 30 others was also subjected to strict checking by the SL military in Vanni earlier in the day. The travellers were ordered to get off the vehicle. While the checking was taking place, a tire of the bus got punctured. The Tamil activists blamed the SL military for vandalism which intended to block them from taking part in the protest.

When the protest came to an end, and the participants started to leave, the Sinhala goons who were hiding inside the disputed heritage site, emerged as gangs and shouted at the Tamil protesters.

A Tamil Christian activist, Nicholas, who went to get his parked car, was assaulted by one of the gangs.

The extremist monk from Velgam Vihara Ampitiye Seelawansa Tissa Thero had influenced the SL Police in advance to secure an interim order from the Magistrate enabling them to block the Tamil protesters from rallying at the Hot Wells.

The protest was supported by almost all grassroots organisations, including the University students who hail from Trincomalee.

The protesters said they had learned a lesson on where the unitary SL State was heading to with its “foremost place” to Buddhism clause.

ITAK Parliamentarians S Shritharan, Seeniththamby Yogeswaran, TNPF Leader Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam and former NPC Councillor from Mullaiththeevu T. Ravikaran took part in the protest on Tuesday.

Kanniyaa protest
Kanniyaa protest

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