Colombo's Archaeology Department, SL Police threaten chief priest of Chiththaa'ndi temple

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 21 July 2020, 23:30 GMT]
Officials of occupying Colombo's Archaeology Department visited the ancient Saiva (Hindu) Murukan temple at Chiththaa'ndi, located 20 km north of Batticaloa city, last month on 26 June. The visiting team was taking photographs of stones used for crack opening coconuts and for burning camphor as well as the stone slabs used in the temple for various purposes. They claimed that the rocks resembled Buddhist artefacts and that they should be delivered back to the SL Archaeology Department. Sivasri Vasantharajah Kurukka'l, the chief priest of the temple, told them that the stones had been there for several decades while other slabs were produced in Vavuniyaa in 2010 when the temple was renovated. On Sunday, SL Policemen from Batticaloa visited the temple blaming the chief priest for ‘not cooperating’ with the officials of the department.

Chiththaa'ndi temple
The stone pad used by devotees to crack open coconuts in front of Chiththaa'ndi Murukan temple koapuram/gopuram

The priest said there was no credible evidence to substantiate the claims.

The SL Archaeology Department has failed to produce any credible evidence to back its case.

However, SL Police was instructing the priest to “cooperate” with SL Archaeology Department’s field visits and ‘research’.

The SL Police said it had received complaints that the temple management had destroyed inscriptions found on the stones.

The priest has informed the SL Police to contact the trustees of the temple.

The trustees told TamilNet that the ancient temple was embraced by the Vanniya chieftains who ruled the Tamil-speaking territories in the East centuries ago.

The temple still had inherited traditions of Vanniyar with nine generations of recorded history, they said.

But, the supremacist Sinhala-Buddhicised SL Archaeology, which received a boost since Gotabaya Rajapaksa becoming SL President, is waging a full-scale heritage war against the heritage of Eezham Tamils and the Tamil-speaking Muslims in the Eastern Province.

Chiththaa'ndi temple
The stone used to burn camphor at Chiththaa'ndi Murukan temple has also not escaped scrutiny by SL Archaeology Department and SL Police
Chiththaa'ndi temple
Chiththaa'ndi temple
Another stone used to burn camphor at Chiththaa'ndi Murukan temple
Chiththaa'ndi temple
Stone ornament exclusively made for temple is also perceived as Sinhala Buddhist by SL Archaeology Department
Chiththaa'ndi temple
Chiththaa'ndi temple
Stone used as the base for temple flambeau to the left of the raja-koapuram
Chiththaa'ndi temple
Stone used as the base for temple flambeau to the right of the raja-koapuram



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