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Buddhas on the A9 - Sinhalisation of Vavuniya

Photographs: Shalin for Tamil Guardian

The Sri Lankan Army continues in its mission of Sinhalising the Tamil homeland, specifically through the installation of Buddhist shrines within the premises of or in close proximity to Hindu temples in the North-East.

The trend is prominent in Vavuniya, with the A9 running through most of the district and military camps, with accompanying Buddhist shrines dotting the main road.

Worshippers in two Vavuniya villages have been left fearing the future of their temples following the construction of Buddha shrines in their vicinity.

In the village of Peiyadikoolaankulam in the Moonaimadu area, soldiers attached to the 56 Division camp have built a large Buddha statue in the premises of a Nagapooshani Amman kovil.

Locals complain that due to the Buddha statue being built on such a large scale and on higher ground, the Amman kovil is now prone to heavy flooding during rainy periods.

The statue also poses a capacity problem during busy festival and ritual days.

The temple is also now fenced in by a wall of Buddhist design. With army camps opposite and to its right, worshippers say they cannot go about their activities freely.

Similarly, a Buddhist shrine has been built next to a Pillaiyar kovil in Thaandikulam, with soldiers attempting to appropriate the kovil’s land for further expansion.