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Sri Lankan police unleash violence at Vedukkunaari during Shivarathri: MP assaulted, 8 Tamils arrested

  • Riot police deployed at Vedukkunaari Temple

  • Police manhandle and arrest 8 devotees

  • Police stop the supply of drinking water to the temple

  • Priest and journalist arrested the night before

  • Ice cream vendors told to leave


The observance of Shivarathri at the Vedukkunaari Hill Athi Sivan temple in Vavuniya North, descended into chaos today (08.03) as police violence marred the religious proceedings. Member of Parliament Selvarajah Kajendren was assaulted by Sri Lankan police, and a further 8 worshippers were arrested during the incident.

Despite the ongoing dispute over the hill, the observance of Shivarathri by locals was allowed to go ahead by the Vavuniya Magistrate’s Court.

In a shocking turn of events, police personnel seized valuables estimated to be worth around 10 lakhs, including food, pongal, and Puja items, disrupting the Puja services midstream. Riot police and special task forces (STF) descended upon the temple premises, intensifying tensions among worshippers.

Women participating in the temple rituals were forcibly removed by the police.

Additionally, 8 individuals, including members of the temple management, were arrested during the altercation. Notably, among those targeted by law enforcement was TNPF MP Selvarajah Kajendren, who was assaulted and manhandled before being recognized and released in front of the temple.

The arrested individuals have been detained at the Nedunkerni police station, with reports that some were stripped down to their underwear before being transported away.

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