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Sri Lankan police force Tamil officers to take part in Vesak at illegally constructed Buddhist temple

The Sri Lankan police reportedly forced Tamil officers who were deployed in Kankesanthurai on routine duty to take part in Vesak observances at an illegally constructed temple within the military-controlled high-security zone (HSZ) in Jaffna.  

The Gamunu Buddhist vihara located within the HSZ was reportedly constructed without legal authorization by military officers. Although sections of this area have been handed over to Tamils in Jaffna, there still exists a heavily guarded high-security zone replete with military encampments.

Buddhist monks who were brought to the temple had conducted the Vesak observances last month. Tamil police officers who were on duty were forced to take part in the same event despite their reported reluctance. They were informed that police officers in Kankesanthurai must take part in Buddhist religious observances. 

Apart from the Gamunu Buddhist Temple, Tamils have been continuously protesting against the construction of the Thissa Buddhist temple which is also located in Kankesanthurai and is being built on privately owned land that is being occupied by the Sri Lankan army. The protests, occurring every Poya (full moon) day, highlight the collective effort to resist colonisation efforts by the Sri Lankan state.

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