Work on new Sellasannithi chariot begins
[TamilNet, Wednesday, 19 November 2003, 11:02 GMT]
The first piece of wood for building the new chariot (Ther) for the historic Thondamanaru Sellasannithi Murugan Temple in Jaffna was carved and consecrated Wednesday morning according to Tamil religious rites at the Bambalapitya Manikkapillaiyar Kovil in Colombo. The temple’s intricately carved wooden chariot was destroyed when Sri Lanka army soldiers allegedly set fire to it during a military operation in the area on 21April 1986. The temple building was also destroyed by the SLA in 1987 during ‘Operation Liberation’ to take the Vadamaradchi Division of Jaffna.
Sri Lanka’s Hindu Religious Affairs Ministry has allocated 6.5million rupees for the construction of the new Ther.
Minister Karu Jeyasuriya addressing the gathering Wednesday at the Bambalapitiya Manikka Vinayakar Temple.
Minister Mr.Karu Jayasuriya was the guest of honour at the ceremony held at the Manikkapillaiyar Temple in Colombo Wednesday. Hindu Religious Affairs Minister Mr.T. Maheswaran and Tamil National Alliance parliamentarians Mr.V.Ananadasangaree, Mr.N.Raviraj and Mr. A Vinayagamoorthy participated in the ceremony.
|The photograph of "Ther" (chariot) taken before it was destroyed by the Sri Lanka Army in 1986|
Jaffna district Government Agent Mr.S.Pathmanathan, General Secretary of the All Ceylon Hindu Federation Mr. Kandiah Neelakandan and several religious dignitaries were also present.
Mr.Karu Jayasuriya speaking at the ceremony said: “ if we don’t achieve unity future generation won’t forgive us.”
Minister Maheswaran and the Jaffna GA also addressed the function.
The ancient Thondamanaru Sellasannithi temple in Jaffna district was first destroyed by the Portuguese in 16th century B.C.
It was renovated during the Dutch period, according historian late Mr. Kula Sabanathan’s research book “ Thondamanaru Temple History.”
The first block of wood for constructing the chariot, being carried round the inner sanctum of the temple for blessing. The chief sculptor of the chariot in the foreground.
The front view of the present Thondamanaru Sellasannithi Temple