Colombo's Archeology department intrudes into historic Hindu temple in Batticaloa

[TamilNet, Sunday, 26 December 2010, 19:12 GMT]
Colombo’s Archeology Department officials, who have been frequently intruding into several century old Hindu temple of Thaanthaamalai Sri Murukan in Batticaloa, 10 days ago warned the devotees and the members of the temple management while they were attending a pooja, not to enter the shrine in future for any reason. Thereafter they took management committee members to the Ampaa’rai police station. The temple, revered by Saivaites in the East as ‘Chinna Kathirkaamam’ and the land in the extent of 25 acres that comes under Paddippazhai DS division in Batticaloa district was declared in 13 March 1959 as Saiva Sacred Area according to the decree entered by the Court of Law, temple sources said.

The department officials from Colombo have been intimidating Saiva devotees and members of management committee in the name of archeological study, TNA MP Ariyanethiran said after sending an urgent appeal to SL Prime Minister D.M. Jayaratne.

The Murukan Koayil and the area surrounding it come under the Kokkaddichchoalai police station. But, the department officials have intimidated the temple administration by taking them to the [Sinhala only] police Ampaa’rai. This has caused serious concern and apprehension among the Saiva people in the area, the MP said.

In his letter he urged the SL Prime Minister to take immediate steps not to disturb the normalcy that prevails in the area and to ensure the right of freedom of worshipping of Saivaites.

Sri Lankan Prime Minister Jayaratne is also holding the minister portfolio of Buddha Sasana and Religious Affairs.

In the meantime, Mr.C.Yogeswaran, Batticaloa district TNA parliamentarian, recently pointed out in the Sri Lankan parliament that only two officers out of one hundred and fifty working in the Department of Archeology are Tamils and others are Sinhalese.

Thaanthaamalai Murukan temple, situated in Paddippazhai DS division in Batticaloa district comes under the area that has been under the LTTE run civil administration for more than 12 years since 1994 in Paduvaankarai region of Batticaloa.


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