Hindu temple demolished to make way for Buddhist vihara in Jaffna

A Hindu temple in Jaffna has been demolished by the Sri Lankan military, who have built a statue of the Buddha in its place, said a priest earlier this month.

Saivite priest  P S G Sri Ayyappadasa Sampasiva Shivachariyar said that the temple, which was located in the village of Veemankaamam has been completely destroyed by the military, in an interview with LankaSri earlier this month.

The Pillaiyar temple provided a place of safety for the local Tamil population during more than 30 years of war, said the priest. Its destruction has now “created fear among the Hindu community,” he said, adding that it was a “painful” act.

Noting that every human has a right to worship their own religion, the priest drew on the Buddha’s teachings. “Buddha taught that those who follow Buddhism should go only in the path of non-violence,” he said.”But, ignoring that, in a place that constitutes a complete Tamil Hindu population, a Hindu temple has been brought down to the anguish of the Hindu community, and a Buddhist vihara has been built up in its place”.

This was not a practise confined to Jaffna alone, he noted, stating that in Kilinochchi more than ten Buddhist viharas have been constructed. The military has also been accused of demolishing mosques, remarked the priest.

See his full interview (in Tamil) below.