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India's aid to Sri Lanka under question as Hindu temples face destruction

By LawStreet News Network      05 April, 2023 02:51 AM      0 Comments

New Delhi, 4th April 2023 - Concerns have been raised over the deteriorating condition of Hindus in Sri Lanka, where Buddhist temples are being built by demolishing ancient Hindu temples. The leaders of the Hindu Struggle Committee, also known as the Hindu Sangharsh Samiti, claim that this is a form of cultural genocide that threatens the identity of Hindus living in Sri Lanka.

During a seminar held at the Constitutional Club of India in New Delhi, the leaders of the Hindu Struggle Committee urged the Government of India to put pressure on Sri Lanka to fully implement the Indo-Lanka Accord and to allow Tamil people to participate in politics. They demanded that India reconsider or stop giving further aid to Sri Lanka until the Sinhalaization and Buddhistization of Hindu Tamils from the north-east is completely stopped.

The organization pointed out that Buddhist, Sinhalese individuals, and organizations are occupying ancient Hindu temples in Sri Lanka, which are of historical and religious importance to the Hindu community. The national president of the Hindu Struggle Committee, Arun Upadhyay, alleged that the Buddhist religious leadership is imposing Sinhalese Buddhist character on Hindus by destroying their cultural identity.

Varun Sharma, the national vice-president, highlighted that a Buddhist monastery was built on the site of an ancient Hindu temple in Mullaitivu, Sri Lanka's north-eastern province. Similarly, Vidya Bhushan, the national general secretary, mentioned that a 6th-century Pallava-era Shivalinga was excavated from Kurunthur in early 2021, and in February 2021, a Hindu temple was demolished there. When the Hindu population agitated against and went to court, the court ruled out in favour of maintaining the Hindu religious character of the place.

The national secretary of the Hindu Struggle Committee, Kalpana Singh, said that the work of demolishing Hindu shrines in Sri Lanka to build Buddhist viharas and stupas is going on, and in contempt of court, efforts were made to build a Buddhist stupa in the temple premises. The Tamil Hindu population strongly protested when the construction of the Buddha statue and stupa began in June 2022, and the court ordered the removal of the partially built stupas. However, the army, Buddhist monks, and the Department of Archeology resumed construction in September 2022 in contempt of court. The court has summoned a report from the Archaeological Commissioner and asked why he should not be charged with contempt of court.

Poonam Jha, the national joint secretary of the Hindu Struggle Committee, said that efforts are being made to demolish the ancient third century Hindu temple at Thirukoneshwaram in Trincomalee to build a Buddhist vihara. This ancient temple holds historical and religious importance, as many Hindu scriptures mention that Ravana worshipped Shiva there. Lord Rama also offered prayers to Lord Shiva in the same temple after the conquest of Lanka.

In conclusion, the Hindu Struggle Committee called upon the Government of India to intervene and protect the Hindu identity, symbols, and culture of Tamil Hindus in Sri Lanka. The organization urged the Indian government to send a delegation consisting of historians, archaeologists, and academicians to study the developments and take appropriate action to restore security and stability in the northeastern Sri Lankan region.

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