The families of the disappeared in Vavuniya have called on the Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi to help Tamils on the island and to immediately intervene and protect Hindu temples.
On the 1,239th day of continuous protests in Vavuniya last Friday, the families of the disappeared have urged Modi to help safeguard the Hinduism and said “it is his responsibility to protect the Hindu religion in India’s neighbouring country - Sri Lanka.”
“Buddhist extremism and fundamentalism has been a cause for the disappearances and also an obstacle to finding our loved ones who have been forcibly disappeared. Hindu temples have long been occupied by Sinhala Buddhist monks,” they said.
“Recently, the comments made by the Buddhist monks claiming that a few historical Hindu temples actually belong to Buddhists has scared us all. The Thirukoneswaram temple, which possesses a rich historical background, has been cited in Thevaram hymns as early as the 7th century by Thirugnana Sambandar,” they added.
They criticised the new presidential task forces as a façade to implement more Buddhist temples and occupy the existing Hindu temples;
“Now Hindus fear that Sinhala Buddhist monks are trying to build a Buddhist temple in the Eastern Province while claiming that 25 temples belong to Buddhists.
The new Sinhala government has formed a group claiming to preserve the archaeological heritage of the Eastern Province. They are attempting to use this group as a means to seize Hindu temples by digging up the land and planting old Buddhist artefacts under it.
They claim that these are historic Buddhist sites and secure the area by sending Sri Lankan army officers – this will eventually lead to the building of a Buddhist temple to accommodate the Sinhala Buddhist population. We call this ethnic cleansing.”
While insisting that “the reason for all this is because Sumanthiran prioritised Buddhism as number one and Sampanthan went to India and declared that Sri Lanka is a Buddhist country,” they called on Modi to fulfil his “responsibility” to Tamils in the North-East;
“The Indian Congress party weakened Tamils without attaining a political solution and in 2009 gave a green light to destroy our defenders. When Modi visited Sri Lanka, he promised co-operation and suggested federalism.
No progress has been made to send an initial panel of Indian statutory scholars to explain the matter before it is implemented. We urge you to do it very soon.
As a Hindu nation, it is India's duty to preserve the ancient Hindu civilization and temples in the North-East of Sri Lanka. This can be done by India. It must also be noted that in 1987, India came to Sri Lanka and through the 13th Amendment recognised the North and the East regions as the Tamil nation.”