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Hindu temple and Pillaiyar statue found demolished in Jaffna

A small Hindu temple on a street in Jaffna, near the A9 highway linking Jaffna and Kandy, was found destroyed on Tuesday morning.

The Pillaiyar statue was damaged and the temple, located between Kodikamam and Mirusuvil, was completely broken down on Monday night by unknown culprits and discovered by the nearby residents on the following morning.

The residents have alerted the local police authorities who have launched an investigation into the culprits of the destruction.

Last week, A Pillaiyar statue was stolen from a Sivan temple in Moongilaru, Mullaitivu shortly after Sri Lankan police officers threatened priests about holding daily prayers during the travel ban – despite religious prayers without public attendance not being illegal. The locals and temple administration insisted that the theft was a retaliation or complicit operation that was carried out by Sri Lankan police officers.

As part of the militarised response to COVID-19, the Sri Lankan state has expanded its intimidation, harassment and surveillance of locals in the North-East, with the recent introduction of the travel ban. Most recently, the Sri Lankan Air Force has implemented drone surveillance across the Tamil homeland in districts such as Mannar, to make arrests of locals that were allegedly breaking social distancing measures and COVID-19 guidelines.

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