Saiva deity statue destroyed 20 days after ‘inspection’ by Sinhala monk in Batticaloa

[TamilNet, Friday, 24 July 2020, 22:15 GMT]
Unknown attackers have smashed the door of the inner sanctuary of Kusalaana-malai Saiva Kumaran temple and destroyed the main deity statue, residents of Karadiyan-aattuk-ku'lam in Batticaloa told TamilNet on Friday. The desecration has taken place three weeks after a Sinhala-Buddhist was observed inspecting the temple situated at the 213-feet high hillock, 35 km west of Batticaloa city. A similar destruction was reported a few days ago at Kurunthoor-malai hillock in Mullaiththeevu in Vanni. The board of the temple was reluctant to talk to journalists as it feared media attention could trigger further problems to the temple. However, Tamil farmers in the nearby village urged broader awareness on the ongoing acts of heritage genocide in the East and North.

Destroyed parts of the main statue
Destroyed parts of the main statue

Main statue photographed in 2019
Main statue photographed in 2019
A caretaker who attends the temple every Friday discovered the destruction Friday around 9:30 a.m.

The ceramic statue was consecrated 50 years ago.

The temple, along with two ponds, is located 13 feet below the top of the hillock.

Paddy fields surround the hillock. The Tamil farmers were used to offer Pongkal (rice) as far back as in the 1940s, the elderly farmers say.

A Veal (divine javelin) is placed at the top of the hill by the farmers in 1978.

The annual temple festival usually falls in the months of August or September.

Since 1994, the festival also featured water-cutting ceremony, they said.

The farmers said they were concerned of false heritage claims of Sinhala-Buddhists targeting their village as witnessed in Veaththuch-cheanai, Thaanthaa-malai and in Chiththaa'ndi.

Kusalaana-malai hillock with Kumaran temple and Veal
Kusalaana-malai hillock with Kumaran temple and Veal
The temple with two ponds
A view from the topmost hillock capturing the temple with two ponds

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