Home » Sri Lankan Tamil Hindus seek India's support as Sinhala … – Frontline

Sri Lankan Tamil Hindus seek India's support as Sinhala … – Frontline

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Kanniya hot springs, a set of wells about 10 kilometres from Trincomalee town along the A-12 highway, is a sacred spot for Hindus in Sri Lanka. But the Sri Lankan Army’s ubiquitous presence in Tamil areas extends to this site as well.

A Buddha statue, built after the Sri Lankan Army won the civil war against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in 2009, can be seen a short distance away from the well. Aided by the Sri Lankan archaeological department, efforts are on to convert the area into a Buddhist heritage site, said a long-time resident of Trincomalee, who did not wish to be named.

Sinhala websites proclaim that the place was once a Buddhist monastery. One English website, amazinglanka.com, claims that “these wells belonged to a great Buddhist monastery” that spanned a vast area. It added that “Eelamisation of the North and East” had destroyed most of the Buddhist remains and that “Eelamists” had been “erasing all signs” of an ancient Buddhist civilisation in these areas for the last 30-40 years.

Thiru Koneswaram

A short distance away, the Thiru Koneswaram temple, located on Swami Rock, and accessed through the Sri Lankan Army-controlled Fort Fredrick, has a different but easily relatable problem. “Thiru Koneswaram is a place of worship for Hindus. We want that place to be holy and [it] should not be converted into a tourist destination. When it becomes a tourist destination, then it loses sanctity. It should remain a pilgrimage destination,” said a prominent member of the local Hindu community.

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