Feature Article

Exposing SLA temple sanctions to BBC brings in attack on house in Jaffna

[TamilNet, Saturday, 26 November 2011, 11:02 GMT]
Attackers believed to be from the Sri Lanka Army opened fire and lobbed grenade and petrol bomb on the house of the head of the civic council (Piratheasa Chapai) of Kaarainakar, Mr Anaimukan Velayutham, a TNA member and a leading trader in Jaffna in the early hours of Saturday, causing minor injuries to his aged mother. The attack comes hours after an interview by Mr. Anaimukan to BBC Tamil, Friday evening, in which he exposed that the occupying SLA had instructed temples in his civic division not to toll bells, not to light torches and to cease any use of loudspeakers during the Heroes Day observation week. His house situated in Thirunelveali in Jaffna was attacked by 1:30 a.m., Saturday. Mr. Anaimukan when contacted by journalists in Jaffna on Saturday condemned the attack and said whoever the attackers were, he was not going to allow himself to get threatened by such acts.

In the Interview to BBC, Friday evening, Mr. Anaimukan said that he had personally witnessed seeing the worshipers at Kaarainakar Ma'natkaadu Kumpanaayaki Muththumaari Amman temple in a disturbed situation while attending the prayers these days. The occupying SLA at Aaladi had given the instructions to the priest of that temple, he confirmed to the BBC.

Mr. Anaimukan also told the BBC that he objected to military threat against religious freedom and said such threats had come even when the temple or community leaders like himself were not involved in observing Heroes Day at the temple.

When asked by the BBC whether any political action on the military threat had been taken up by him through his party (TNA), he replied in negative citing the non availability of TNA leaders in Jaffna. Mr. Mavai Senathirajah had gone to India, he said, adding further on the futility of taking up any complaints against the SL military.

Earlier, speaking to media, the commander of the occupying SL military in Jaffna, Maj. Gen. Hathurusinghe, had denied military ordering any sanctions against temples during the week.

Tamils in the island increasingly feel that their postwar subjugation through occupying Sinhala military, aimed at making them accept structural genocide and any nondescript political solution, is a joint agenda of Colombo as well as the powers that give tacit support to it.

The SL Army established camps in Kaarainakar since last December, while the old base of the SL Navy also continues.

According to legends and old records, Ma'natkaadu Maariyamman temple was the only temple in Kaarainakar that was not touched by the Portuguese who destroyed all the other temples in the islet, after the conquest of the Kingdom of Jaffna in the early 17th century. Legends say that the Portuguese, who were then suffering from the epidemic of Small Pox, spared the temple fearing the fury of the deity.


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