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Buddhist monks request access to historic Mullaitivu mountain for “research”

A group of Sinhalese people including two Buddhist monks who had been handed over to police in Mullaitivu for attempting to install a Buddha statue have told the court they were just carrying out research.

Residents of Kurunthurmalai (mountain) in Kumulamunai reported that the group of twelve, including the monks, had come to the area on September 4, falsely claiming to be archaeology department officials and had brought a Buddha statue and installation equipment with them.

Locals had mobilised to prevent the group from installing the Buddha statue on the mountain and forced Oddusuddan police to escort the group away.

Following the filing of a case, the Mullaitivu court ruled on September 13 that no changes could be made to the mountain, including the installation of any new religious infrastructure.

The group however have submitted a new motion claiming they were intending to carry out archaeological research, also claiming that the mountain used to be the site of a Buddhist temple, and that they should be given access for research purposes.

The group also claimed that Tamil politicians had disrupted their trip and provoked the locals, resulting in the tense situation in the area.