Facebook icon
Twitter icon
e-mail icon

Hindu Federation of Switzerland slams Sri Lanka's arrest of Vedukkunaari devotees

The Hindu Federation of Switzerland has condemned the arrest of the eight Tamils at Vedukkunaari Hill Athi Sivan temple and the ongoing attempts by Sri Lanka's archaeology department to acquire places of religious worship belonging to the Tamil Hindu community. 

The statement comes as Tamils across the homeland protest against the unlawful arrest of eight Tamil men who participated in the observance of Shivarathri at Vedukkunaari Hill Athi Sivan temple in Vavuniya North. 

Commenting on the Sinhalisation of the North-East, the federation said that they "condemn the continuous land grabbing attempts by the government through the archaeology department that has taken place with the assistance of the police and army.” The federation cites that the government is attempting to take over places of historical and religious value to Tamils so they can convert them to Buddhist sites. 

The Athi Sivan temple atop the Vedukkunaari mountain in Vavuniya, has been a place of worship for Tamil people for many generations but the Archaeological Department of Sri Lanka has declared it to be an ancient Buddhist site. 

In their statement, the federation delves into the historical context of Shaivism and added that Hindu temples are scattered across Tamil Eelam which are strongly tied to the Eelam culture and life.

“Even though many of these places were destroyed during the colonial rule, we have made every effort to rebuild them and continue our traditions. These places are revered for their significance and we endeavour to protect them even today," the statement reads. 

The statement went on to say that ever since Sri Lanka gained its independence from British rule in 1948, the Sinhalese-led governments have led the oppression of Tamil people in numerous ways.

“These Sinhalese-led governments intend on distorting the religion, culture, and traditional lifestyle enjoyed by the Tamil Eelam by destroying what’s left of ours,” they said.

“The genocide carried out by these governments continues to date and we continue our non-violence struggle for more than three decades to preserve what's left.” 

The statement also noted that 15 years have passed since the Mullivaikkal genocide, which was the biggest ethnic cleansing of Tamil people perpetrated by Sri Lanka. The federation added that although it has been 15 years since the Mullivaikkal genocide, there has not been any justice for Tamils. 

Read the full statement here

We need your support

Sri Lanka is one of the most dangerous places in the world to be a journalist. Tamil journalists are particularly at threat, with at least 41 media workers known to have been killed by the Sri Lankan state or its paramilitaries during and after the armed conflict.

Despite the risks, our team on the ground remain committed to providing detailed and accurate reporting of developments in the Tamil homeland, across the island and around the world, as well as providing expert analysis and insight from the Tamil point of view

We need your support in keeping our journalism going. Support our work today.

For more ways to donate visit https://donate.tamilguardian.com.