TNA protests new Buddhist shrine in Tamil village

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 14 January 2003, 19:12 GMT]
A Tamil National Alliance delegation, headed by Mr.R.Sampanthan, Tuesday met with the Sri Lankan Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremasinghe, and protested the construction of a new Buddhist shrine in Vilankulam, a historically Tamil a village, and the ban on renovating the historic Hindu temple at Kanniya, in Trincomalee, which had been destroyed by the war, sources said.

In wide-ranging discussions with the Prime Minister, the TNA parliamentarian from Trincomalee, Mr. Sampanthan, told the Prime Minister that the history of Kanniya Pillaiyar temple dated back to the period of King Ravana, and the archaeological department had stopped the renovation of the temple when a Buddhist priest intervened to say that bricks found at the site belonged a Buddhist period. Mr.Sampanthan argued that even those bricks could belong to a Tamil kingdom in ancient times. He said the ban on renovation of the temple should be lifted immediately and the renovation should be allowed to continue without any interruption.

Vilankulam is a traditionally Tamil village and there was no Buddhist shrine till a Buddhist priest last month started to construct a Vihare.

The Prime Minister instructed the relevant authorities to stop the construction of said Vihare and to submit a report on the issue. The Prime Minister further instructed his advisor Mr.Bradman Weerakoon and Defence Secretary Mr. Austin Fernando to submit a report on the Kanniya Hindu temple issue after more discussions with Mr.Sampanthan, TNA sources said.


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