Sri Lankan troops have been deployed at the Nallur Kandasamy Temple in Jaffna this week, as the temple’s annual festival – thiruvizha – began last month.
Sri Lankan security forces were deployed in place of up to two-thirds of the police force as the festival began last month. Devotees are also required to present proof of identity to enter the temple premises amidst coronavirus restrictions and heightened militarisation across the North-East.
An important cultural and religious event in the Tamil calendar, it attracts surveillance by the police every year who are deployed in large numbers in the name of protecting the premises of the temple and its devotees. With the Easter Sunday Bombings last year, troops from the army also began to be stationed outside the temple.
The Chariot festival of the temple is set to be held on 17 August, with the final ceremony on 20 August.