The Neeraaviyadi Pilliyar Temple issue – disregard to laws of the land and the judiciary


The island witnessed the defiance of Buddhist monks towards the rule of law when they rejected the order made by the Mullaitivu Magistrate against the burial of a Bhuddist monk Kolompae Methalangathara Thero at the Neeraaviyadi Pilliyar Temple at Chemmalai in the Mullaitivu district. Many were made to feel that all protections of law, order and justice has been taken away from them.
The Buddhist priest, Kolompae Methalangathara Thero for long had tried to make it a Buddhist temple and put the site in controversy by moving into the Neeraaviyadi Pilliyar Temple premises and demanding rights over it. A case was filed by the police upon the complaints received by the Temple Trustee Board that the peace was disturbed by the monk when he entered the Temple on January 14th 2019.
Thereafter, in May 2019 the Mullaitivu Magistrate Court had ruled in favour of Neeraaviyadi Pillaiyar Temple confirming its long-standing existence in old Chemmalai. While further construction is restrained by court, Kolampe Methalangathara Thero lived in the temple and had erected while the court proceedings continued. The incident agitated the people of the area who staged many protests against it.
The controversy further continued when Kolompae Methalangathara Thero passed away due to cancer the on September 18th and as a result his followers wanted to conduct his last rites on the said temple premises on September 21st, but the people of the area had expressed great dissatisfaction and anxiety of the violence that may arise. The reason for this dissatisfaction was because the temple land was considered holy and cremation of the deceased was not a matter for consideration. The Tamil people in and around the area and who are associated with the temple opposed this move since they consider it disrespectful to cremate the remains of the deceased near places that they deem sacred.

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