Colombo intensifies spread of Buddhism in North

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 22 June 2010, 17:51 GMT]
Buses carrying around two thousand Buddhist priests under heavy escort carrying a sacred statue of Buddha on a pilgrimage to Jaffna had passed Vavuniyaa Monday and entered Vanni main land through A9 road, sources in Vavuniyaa said. The buses, however, have not reached Jaffna until Tuesday evening and it is assumed that the Buddhist priests, on an urgent mission to spread Buddhism in the North, are engaged in some unannounced opening ceremonies of newly erected Buddhist Viharas in Vanni by the occupying Sri Lanka Army (SLA) directed by Colombo government, sources in Jaffna said.

It is not yet known what the Buddhist priests are to do in Jaffna but it is generally believed that they will engage in opening a new Buddhist Vihara somewhere in the peninsula to observe ‘Poson’ festival Friday which celebrates the introduction of Buddhism in the island, the sources added.

Meanwhile, Northern Province Governor, Major Gen. G. A. Chandrasiri had directed government heads in the North to make arrangements to cater to the needs of the priests passing through.

Accordingly, some of the schools along this route have been hastily prepared to accommodate the pilgrims.

The Governor had also directed the heads of government to widen and renovate all the main roads that lead to Buddhist religious sites in the peninsula.

Meanwhile, an academic from Jaffna commenting said that the aim of this feverish engagement in spreading Buddhism in the North by Colombo includes the construction of Sinhala-Buddhist stupas in the heart of the Tamil homeland paving way for islands of Sinhala-Buddhist colonies protected by military.

This will go hand in hand with the ‘development’ projects aiming to open the conquered territory to the conquerors and eventually the change of demography so that Tamils can never fight for their national rights in the island, he pointed out.

Temporally and spiritually it is a heritage genocide: to make Eezham Tamils feel that their homeland doesn’t belong to them, they are historically inferior ‘intruders’, they have no claims for their nationalism and as long as they exist as Tamils they cannot be equals, he added.

Meanwhile, the extreme Sinhala nationalist Jathika Hella Urumaya (JHU) Saturday had to elect a new leader as Ven. Ellawala Medhananda Thera had resigned from the post as he needed more time to devote on his pet subjects of archaeological research in Mullaiththeevu in Vanni, JHU sources said.

 

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