SLA disrupts Hindu festival in Thenmaradchy

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 11 April 2007, 08:52 GMT]
The annual Hindu celebrations at the historical Panrithalaichi Amman Temple in Manthuvil along Kanagampuliyady Junction- Jaffna Point Pedro road in Putur area in Thenmaradchy was disrupted when Sri Lanka Army (SLA) soldiers conducted a cordon and search operation Moday morning, civil society sources said. Thousands of disappointed devotees who thronged the area were prevented from proceeding towards the temple.

"Pangunithingal" festival is conducted each year soon after the farm land cultivation is over and when the agricultural crops are at their peak production. The feast draws around twenty five thousand devotees from areas throughout the peninsula.

The public bring in their farm produce to the temple and cook meals in the premises where many of them stay overnight.

In a pre dawn operation lasting till noon, thousands of SLA troops conducted an intense search of Madduvil, Chavakachcheri, Sarasalai, Kangampuliyady Junction and desolate shrub lands in Kapoothu areas preventing the devotees from proceeding towards the temple.

Civilians including those from Vadaamaradchy arriving through Kapoothu ­Kanagampuilyady road and those from Valigamam travelling through Vaharawaththai ­Putur road and a large number of devotees from Chavakacheri were denied permission to proceed towards the temple premises.

Later in the day less than thousand people were permitted by SLA to participate in the festival.

Prior permission had been obtained by the temple management from SLA to conduct the festival and this was a deliberate attempt to deny the basic rights of the people, civil society sources said.

 

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