Civil groups to agitate over Omanthai Buddha statue

[TamilNet, Thursday, 23 June 2005, 15:32 GMT]
Vavuniya civil group leaders Thursday announced at a discussion held in the office of the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) that they would launch an agitation if the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) fails to remove the controversial Buddha statue erected in the Omanthai Pillaiyar temple premises within seven days. The discussion was held between the officials of the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) and representatives of the civil groups including the LTTE district political section and the Hindu priest of the Omanthai Pillaiyar Temple in the presence of SLMM monitors, sources said.



Mr.Gnanam, Vavuniynia district LTTE political head, deputy head Mr.Tharmendra, Mr.S.N.G.Nathan, Secretary of the Vavuniya Resurgence Forum representing the civil groups, Mr.S.Sittampalam, President of the Vavuniya Bar Association, Mr.S.Senthilanathan, President of Vanni Tamil Congress and Mr. Kulendran attended the discussion on behalf of the Vavuniya civil groups. Members of the Vavuniya Monitoring Committee representing the LTTE, and the Sri Lanka government, also participated in the discussions, sources said.

The SLA was represented by a Colonel rank official who is working in the Public relations Unit, sources said.

Civil leaders complained at the discussion the harassment the people of Omanthai village are undergoing in the hands of SLA.

Omanthai Pillaiyar temple priest said after discussion that he had made a complaint with the Police against the erection of a Buddha statue by the army in the temple premises. It was meaningless to say that it was a Buddhist place after erecting a Buddha statue in the centuries' old Hindu temple, he said.

The priest further said he was subjected to interrogation by the army at the Omanthai army checkpoint when he was coming from Jaffna. "I told the army officer during the discussions of my intention to file a case against the SLA on this matter in Vavuniya law courts," said the priest.

Mr.Gnanam, LTTE Vavuniya district political head said the SLA is now intimidating the Tamil people of Omanthai.

SLA official said he would bring the matters discussed here to his higher authorities, sources said.

 

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