SL Police intensifies restrictions on Saiva devotees at disputed ‘chaitya’ hilltop in East

[TamilNet, Thursday, 10 October 2019, 23:31 GMT]
The SL Police has started to impose restrictions on Tamil devotees putting up a temporary shed during the annual six-day fast of Kantha Shasti which is to take place between 28 October and 02 November 2019 at Kun'raththoor-malai Murukan temple in Choodaik-kudaa in Trincomalee. The chairperson of the board of trustees of the temple of Murugan deity at Maththa'la-malai, Mr T Jegatheesan, said the SL Police was demanding the board to utilise direct permission from the SL Archaeology Department.

Maththa'la-malai
The location of Maththa'la-malai in Kooniththeevu, near Champoor in Moothoor East of Trincomalee district
Maththa'la-malai
Maththa'la-malai
Although the SL Department and the monks were in dispute with them since December 2017, putting up a temporary hut at the hilltop was not taken up as a problem last year, he said.

The temple is located on Maththa'la-malai in Koonith-theevu, situated near Champoor in Moothoor East of the Trincomalee district.

SL Police invited the trustees and the devotees for a meeting last month, and the people took up the matter with them.

Around 20 devotees observe the fast continuously throughout the six days staying at the locality along with several other devotees attending prayers throughout the Shasti days.

The dimension of the temple hall is 7 meters length and 3 meters in width.

The temporary hut is a must as it is a rainy season, he said.

The Tamil devotees started to re-construct the destroyed temple for Murukan deity in August 2013. The SL Ministry of Hindu Affairs had also funded the operation of the temple until 2017.

The SL Archaeology Department is claiming that the entire hilltop, including the traditional Murukan temple of the village deity of Tamils, as a [Sinhala] Buddhist site of archaeological heritage.

Maththa'la-malai
The location of Maththa'la-malai in Kooniththeevu
Moothoor East
Moothoor East [Image Courtesy: British made One Inch Map, revised in 1972 by 'Sri Lanka' Survey Department]
Maththa'lamalai
View from Maththa'la-malai hilltop towards the sea and and the settlements in Koonith-theevu
Maththa'lamalai
View from Maththa'la-malai hilltop towards the sea and and the settlements in Koonith-theevu


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