SL Army & Archaeology falsify heritage traces to meet Sinhala-Buddhist ideology: Saiva priest

[TamilNet, Sunday, 07 June 2020, 23:44 GMT]
The chief priest of Gayatri Amman temple, located in the suburb of Batticaloa city, has blamed the Sinhala military for planting false archaeological ‘traces’ in the vicinities of the camps in the district of Batticaloa. The tendency of planting pieces of evidence, which are then ‘excavated’ by SL Archaeology Department has been escalating throughout the past five years, said Sivasri V K Sivapalan Kurukka'l. The latest step in which the SL President appointed an all-Sinhala Presidential Task Force (PTF) headed by SL Defense Secretary has added woes to an already distressing situation. The efforts by religious dignitaries to bring inter-religious and ethnic harmony have been severely affected, not only in the East but in the entire island, he lamented.

Sivapalan Kurukka'l was citing the case of Thaanthaa-malai in Paddippazhai division of Batticaloa bordering Ampaa'rai district, where he was taking part in temple feasts in the past. “Now, it is not possible to put up anything as the SL Archaeology Department has claimed the land where they say want to carry out broader excavations”.

It is a sophisticated move to Sinhalicise the place like what happened to Kathirkaamam in the South, he said.

Similar cases were also witnessed in Kachchat-kodi-cheanai, and in Vaakarai region, particularly at Thoppik-kal, the Saiva priest said.

The SL military, which constitutes of predominantly Sinhala-Buddhist soldiers, has stationed in every nook and corner in the three decades of war. It has erected Buddha statues inside the camps. It is understandable as long as these constructions were intended purely for the worship by the soldiers. But, during the past ten years, there have been planned alterations of archaeological items, he said.

They have planted artefacts depicting ancient names and symbols, which they claim as traces of Sinhala-Buddhist heritage in the premises of their military positions.

Some of the temples worshipped by Tamil people have been destroyed. Instead, Buddhist temples have been built in these places, seizing the lands in the name of preserving heritage.

It is disappointing to see the efforts for peaceful coexistence among the Tamil, Muslim and Sinhala people getting harmed by the SL government-backed manipulations of heritage, Sivapalan Kurukk'al said.

The heritage manipulations cause psychological trauma among the people, resulting in negative impacts in their education, employment and the economy.

“People belonging to Saiva, Christian and Islamic religions, including myself sense these as acts of genocide,” he said.



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