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Extremist Buddhist monks visit Tamil Hindu temple threatened by Sinhalisation

Buddhist monks from Ravana Balaya, a Sinhala Buddhist supremacist organisation, and those reportedly who led the racist ‘Sinha Le’ campaign visited a Tamil Hindu temple in Mullaitivu that has been at the centre of a local dispute about land-grabs and Sinhalisation.

The group of southern Sinhala Buddhist monks visited the temple, and inspected areas around it, including a vihara on the temple’s premises that has been constructed by monks over the last ten years, culminating in the building of a massive Buddha statue.

The monks held talks with the vihara officials, as well as with soldiers at the army camp opposite the temple.

The head of the Ravana Balaya claimed that the monks living in the North East areas were being harassed by local Tamils and accused them of “racism”. They went on to state that they are visiting to investigate these conditions, with the intention of preserving Buddhism.

Ravana Balaya is an extremist organisation that has been accused of hate speech, whilst the Sinha Le campaign saw racist vandalism on Muslim homes and protests with Sinhala lion flags.

The Neeraviyadi Pillaiyaar temple in Semmalai has been under intense state-backed Sinhalisation efforts, which included prolonged legal battles, and the military setting up a sham archaeological museum claiming artefacts from the area and belonged to the disputed Buddhist vihara.

At the start of this year, it was reported that Buddhists viharas and monks' residences were under construction at Kilinochchi University campus, in yet another Tamil occupied area.