Unknown attackers have smashed the door of the inner sanctuary of Kusalaanamalai Saiva Kumaran temple and destroyed the main deity statue, as vandalism attacks on places of worship have increased across the North-East in recent weeks.
The latest incident in Karadiyanaattukkulam in Batticaloa took place after a Sinhala-Buddhist monk was observed inspecting the temple three weeks prior, reports TamilNet.
The website also reported a similar attack took place at at Kurunthoormailai hillock in Mullaitivu in Vanni, where the trident of an Aiyanaar folk-deity and its seat were stolen. Tamil villagers from Kumuzhamunai in the Karaithuraippattu division in the district of Mullaitivu alleged that the Sri Lankan Archaeology Department and Sinhala Buddhist monks were behind the removal of the trident at the heritage site.
The statue pictured in 2019.
Tamil farmers in the village nearby told TamilNet that the latest incident was part of ongoing acts of “heritage genocide”.
The attacks on places of worship come as the Sri Lankan state launched several ‘archaeology’ initiatives, including an all-Sinhala presidential task force to examine archaeology in the Eastern province. The latest moves by the state are on the background of intense Sinhalisation of the Tamil homeland, which has ramped up since the election of Gotabaya Rajapaksa as president.