[TamilNet, Wednesday, 12 December 2018, 21:45 GMT]
The occupying Sinhala military in Mullaith-theevu installed a small Buddha statue, which was covered with glass at the disputed heritage site of Neeraaviyadi-eattam in Chemmalai in November.
The SL military has now hurriedly replaced it with a huge Buddha statue disregarding the interim order and the protests of Tamil residents. The move comes after a delegation from the SL Archaeology Department in Colombo visited the SL military prompting it to accomplish the mission, civil sources in Mullaiththeevu District Secretariat told TamilNet.
An extremist Buddhist monk, Kolamba Medhalankara Thera, staying with the SL Army’s 593rd Brigade at Naayaa’ru is operating with the thinking that once the giant statue has been successfully erected, Tamil protests, as well as the interim orders, would lose their impact as the SL Constitution accords ‘foremost place to Buddhism’, the sources further said.
The Tamil people in Chemmalai East have been protesting against the repeated attempts by the SL military to bring survey department officials to demarcate the planned expansion of the vihara establishment.
The Tamil residents who oppose the move have also been demanding access to their temple. They went ahead with a Pongkal feast on the 10th of September at the Pi’l’laiyaar temple, which has been absorbed into the Buddhist vihara being schemed at the lands which are also claimed by the SL Archaeology Department.
Neeraaviyadi (Pazhaiya-Chemmalai) is an ancient village with traces of heritage artefacts. It is a coastal hamlet located on a narrow sandbar, which is sandwiched between the Naayaa’ru lagoon and the sea in Karai-thu’raip-pattu division of Mullaiththeevu district. A’lampil is situated to its north and Kokku’laay lagoon is at its south.
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