'Vihare construction continues in Tamil village despite protests' - TNA

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 25 December 2002, 13:25 GMT]
Construction of a Buddhist shrine in Vilankulam, a traditional Tamil village, 11 km off west in the eastern port town is continuing despite protests made to the Prime Minister by the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) parliamentary group leader and the Trincomalee district parliamentarian Mr.R.Sampanthan, said TNA Member of Parliament (MP) Mr.K.Thurairetnasingham, Thursday.

"These acts will whip up communal flame in Trincomalee district and disrupt the prevailing peaceful environment and affect the peace process," said Mr. Thurairatnasingham in an urgent letter faxed to the Prime Minister Mr.Ranil Wickremasinghe.

The letter states, "I wish to bring to your immediate attention about the continued construction of a Buddhist shrine at Vilankulam which is a predominantly Tamil village where more than one hundred Tamil families lived in, till they were forcibly expelled during 1983 and 1987 ethnic violence. Also it is to be noted that not a single Sinhalese lived in the village during that period.

"More than half the number of displaced Tamil families have now registered their names with the authorities concerned, expressing their willingness to re-settle in their own lands in Vilankulam," said Mr.Thurairatnesingham.

Mr.Thurairatnesingham pointed out to the Prime Minister, "to prevent Tamils from resettling, a group of persons led by a Buddhist priest has started to construct a Buddhist shrine in the abandoned Tamil village with an idea of colonizing it with Sinhalese families. Several complaints have been received by us in this regard from the Tamil people."

"I appeal to you to take immediate steps to stop this unauthorized construction of a Buddhist shrine in a Tamil village to safeguard the peaceful atmosphere and environment prevailing among various communities in the Trincomalee district. I further appeal to you to take prompt steps against those who are involved in sabotaging the peace efforts," said Mr.Thurairatnesingham.

Meanwhile, TNA leader and district MP Mr.R.Sampanthan who is away in India Thursday contacted the Prime Minister over the phone and requested him to take immediate steps according to Mr.Thurairatnesingham who Thursday conveyed the latest situation at Vilankulam to Mr.Sampanthan by telephone.

 

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