Devotees not permitted to stay overnight to continue rituals in Keerimalai temple

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 10 August 2010, 06:28 GMT]
Sri Lanka Army (SLA) occupying Jaffna peninsula did not allow thousands of Hindu devotees Monday night to continue the religious rituals to their ancestors in the historically famous Keerimalai Nakuleasvaram temple located in the SLA High Security Zone (HSZ) in Valikaamam North, sources in Jaffna said. The residents of this area, evacuated 20 years ago by SLA have not been permitted to resettle in their own properties which are under SLA occupation. Earlier in April, SLA had put up notices that no one should pollute the temple pond and the seas around as the area has been declared as a tourist spot. This infringement on religious rights had angered the devotees who gather to perform rites which had been observed by Hindus through ages.



Keerimalai is one of the major tourist attractions in Jaffna peninsula and SLA has imposed the restriction in order to please the Sinhalese tourists who continue to pour in their thousands after the opening of A9 road.

Thousands of Hindu devotees from all parts of Jaffna peninsula as well as other places participated in the festival Monday and for the first time in 20 years they could travel in vehicles up to the temple precincts.

The vehicles had to go along Kaangkeasanthu'rai road and through Thellippazhai SLA check post to Keerimalai.



SLA soldiers deployed in the temple area did not allow any of the devotees to stay overnight to continue the religious rituals of the annual festival.

Though the welfare organizations of the uprooted residents continue to agitate demanding permission for resettlement in their properties SLA and Sri Lanka government remain unmoved.

 

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