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Attorney General visits Kurunthumalai site amidst Buddhist takeover

The Attorney General's department conducted a field visit to the Kurunthumalai site on June 21st, along with a team of prosecutors. The visit was in response to the ongoing dispute surrounding the site, which has been targeted for land grabs by Buddhist monks with the assistance of the Sri Lankan police, military, and Department of Archaeology.

The Kurunthumalai site is home to the Athi Aiyanar Kovil, a kovil which locals claim has been in existence for centuries. In recent years, however, the site has been gradually taken over by Buddhist monks, who have built a Buddhist temple on the site.

The construction of a Buddhist temple at Kurunthumalai in the North-East of Sri Lanka has been met with protests from Tamil people living in the area. The vihara's construction on the site of an existing temple, the Athi Aiyanar Kovil, is seen as yet another attempt to erase the Tamil identity of the North-East as part of the ongoing state sponsored Buddhistisation Project.

The illegal construction of the temple has been ongoing for several years, and it is now nearing completion. The police, military, and Department of Archaeology have all been involved in the construction, despite a court order issued by the Mullaitivu Magistrate Court to stop all new construction on the site.

As late as June 21st, Sri Lanka Pothujana Peramuna MP Udaya Gammanpilla visited the site with Buddhist monks and other lay people to conduct a ceremony. This was seen as an attempt to reiterate the government's stance in support of Sinhalisation.Tamil people in the area continue to protest the construction of the temple. 

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