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Tamil devotees subjected to surveillance by Sri Lankan police during worship at Kurunthurmalai

Tamil devotees were subjected to surveillance by Sri Lankan police officers during a pooja at the  Athi Aiyanar temple in Kurunthurmalai last Tuesday. 

The Athi Aiyanar temple, a native place of worship of Tamils located in the Thannimurippu area, has been targeted by intense land grab efforts by Sinhala Buddhist monks over recent years.

In 2018, a court order stated that no changes could be made to the site. However, Buddhist monks aided by Sri Lanka's military and police have illegally constructed a Buddhist temple at the ancient Tamil site. 

Despite the presence of police, many devotees, including the temple management and several politicians, took part in the religious observances. 

Former Northern Provincial Council member Thurairasa Ravikaran, former Northern Province Agriculture Minister Kandiah Sivanesan, Democratic Tamil National Alliance district coordinator N. Yudson, and Karaithurapattu Divisional secretariat member E. Jegatheesan were seen taking part in the pooja. 

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