Naam Tamilar Katchi (NTK) leader Seeman condemned the recent attempt by Sri Lanka's archaeology department to seize an ancient Tamil temple site in Mullaitivu.
“On the grounds that ancient Buddhist shrines existed in the Kurunthoormalai and Kumulamunai parts of Mullaitivu district and based on the lie that archaeological excavations need to be conducted, the Sinhala racist government is destroying ancient Tamil temples with the support of the military. This is strongly condemnable,” Seeman said in a statement.
Last week, Sri Lankan state minister for 'national heritage' Vidura Wickramanayaka led an event at Kurunthoormalai where a Buddha statue was erected at the site of the Athi Aiyanar temple. The temple site has been the target of intense landgrab efforts by Sinhala Buddhist monks.
Read more here: Sri Lankan minister leads Buddhist landgrab of Tamil temple.
"The Sinhala racist government, which deliberately subjected Tamils to genocide and slaughtered them, is trying to slowly erase all symbols of Tamil identity in the island and create a mono-ethnic Sinhalese state. These acts are a manifestation of this Sinhala chauvinism," Seeman added.
Seeman also questioned the legality of the government's move to pursue an 'archaeological' excavation at the site. In 2018, following fierce resistance from locals, a court ordered that no changes could be made to the temple site. The placing of the Buddha statue at the temple site directly contravenes the court order.
While the North-East has come under decades of intense Sinhalisation and colonisation from state sponsored settlement schemes, there has been a recent escalation in Sri Lanka's efforts to colonise the region under the guise of 'archaeology'.