People of the Uruthirapuram area raise concern about the disturbing activities taking place in the Sivan Kovil premises in Kilinochchi


The Centre for Human Rights and Development (CHRD) was informed by the Board Trustees of the Urithirapuram Sivan Kovil in the Killinochchi district that on 16.01.2021, 30.01.2021 and 31.01.2021 a group of army officers and police officers together with a Buddhist Monk came and inspected the temple premises. There were some government officers too accompanying the Buddhist Monk.

The groups had arrived in vehicles belonging to the Archaeology Department and other Army jeeps. This activity was repeated several times on at least 15 occasions with Army and police officers arriving at the Temple premises accompanied by the Buddhist Monk. On all such occasions the visitors inspected the entire land of the Temple premises.

Subsequently on 16.03.2021 the Assistant Commissioner of the Department of Archelogy, Jaffna arrived at the site together with the officers purportedly for the purpose of the cleaning of the site. This was done without any prior notice to the Trustees of the Temple Board or any other persons, which resulted in hindering the poojas, religious activity and observances of the Hindu temple, and driving away the devotees and others in fear. They had failed to give adequate notice about the purpose of visit and the Assistant Commissioner failed to consult the Temple Trustees on obtaining their consent. Some persons who were present at the site were informed by the Assistant Commissioner that the excavation activities are to commence on 23.03.2021 and that semi-permanent tents will be constructed in that area within the compound belonging to the temple for that purpose.

The Board of Trustees and the people of the area seriously apprehend that there is a sinister link between the visit of the Buddhist monk together with some of officials of the Archelogy Department on earlier occasions and their present plans to commence excavation activities on the site. Such impudent conduct on the part of religious dignitaries and government officials does not infuse confidence in the minds of devotees and Temple Trustees. The Board of Trustees believe that such activities although couched in official cover, is carried out at the behest of interested parties including the said Buddhist monk. Therefore, on 18 March, a letter was handed over to the Assist Commissioner of the Department of Archaeology, Jaffna by the Board of Trustees requesting to halt all activities on the Temple premises with immediate effect.

Contact Details

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Sri Lanka.

Telephone: (+94) 11 250 6001
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