Rakwana Hindu Cultural Hall opening put off due to chauvinist opposition
[TamilNet, Sunday, 10 May 2009, 09:15 GMT]
The ceremonial opening of the newly constructed Hindu Cultural Hall in Rakwana in Ratnapura district did not take place on Friday (Siththirai Pooranai) as scheduled, due to opposition by Sinhala extremist elements. Earlier the annual festival of Rakwana Sri Muththumaariamman Koayil which was scheduled to be held from April 28 till May 10 was stopped due to opposition by Buddhist extremists that the Thear festival falls on Vesak Day. Chauvinist elements in the area said that no festival of any other religion should take place on Vesak Day.
At a conference summoned by Minister Mr.Arumugam Thondaman at his ministry later, it was decided to hold the opening event of the Hindu Cultural Hall on Friday instead of the Thear festival of the Sri Muththumariamman Kovil.
But Buddhist extremists expressed their opposition that opening of Hindu Cultural hall also should not take place on Friday.
Hence another conference was held at Rakwana Kasthuri Hall on Thursday with the participation of Ministers Arumugam Thondaman and John Seneviratne.
It was decided at this conference to put off the Hindu cultural hall opening for another day.
Both ministers appealed to the participants from both sides not to give room for any disturbances at this stage when the country was heading for permanent peace.