Tamils protested against plans to construct a new Buddhist vihara in Periyankulam, Trincomalee today.
The demonstration was organised to block efforts by a Sinhala Buddhist monk seeking to build a new vihara in place of a row of Tamil businesses. Following orders from the monk, Uppuveli police threatened two Tamil traders, claiming that their shops will be removed to accomodate the new vihara.
Protesters argued that there was no need for a vihara when the village is not inhabited by Buddhists.
Demonstrators were joined by the Tamil National People's Front (TNPF) leader Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam and General Secretary Selvarajah Kajendren.
The Tamil homeland has been subjected to decades of Sinhalisation but since the end of the armed conflict, there has been a rise in the establishment of Buddhist temples and Sinhala settlements through the appropriation of Tamil land.