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Tamils reviving ancient temple threatened by Buddhist monks

Tamil villagers conducted a special worship at the Athi Ayan Temple, Kurunthur Hill, Kumulamunai, Mullaitivu earlier this month. The temple is of historical significance for the Tamil people, but like many ancient monuments is in the Tamil homeland is coming under attack from Buddist colonisation.

In 2018, a group of Buddhist monks tried to build a Buddhist vihara on the hill after designating the hill an archaeological site by claiming that it contained an ancient Buddhist shrine. After fierce opposition from locals, a court order stated that local could go about their worship activities as usual but no new constructions could take place on the hill and no archaeological objects could be damaged. However since the change of government a scepter from the hill was found destroyed.

A petition was filed by the temple administration earlier in the year, opposing the construction of the checkpoint. The court had ruled that it could not be erected as the new constructions were prohibited.

With this situation in hand, the villagers carried out a Pongal celebration at the Athi Ayan temple, on the full moon earlier this month. However locals note with concern that the Kurunthur temple has been marked in Sinhala and English as Kurundaseva Buddhist Temple on Google Maps.

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