Sri Lanka : Arulmiku Sithivinayakar temple vandalised by anti-Hindus

Atrocious is not the word. It is very much more than atrocity. Desecration is not the word. It is very much more than desecration. Here is a clear attempt to provoke animosity, religious animosity towards hatred leading to hostility and violence.

A village surrounded by woods. Nearby are areas of forests of national reserve. Accessibility to this village is poor. Policing is limited, rare or incident related.

Hindus live there. Their main occupation is farming. They also enjoy animal husbandry. The soil is very fertile. Water is not scarce. The main source is the water tank called Muthaliyarkulam. The name of the village itself derives from this water reservoir.

It is a Hindu Majority Nilathari division. (A Nilathari division is the smallest administrative unit of the government).
Muthaliyarkulam: Population size is 1,713. Hindus form the majority with 1,156 persons (330 households). Catholics number 465 (121 households) and there are 92 Muslims (28 households).

Hindus have their temples. One of them is the Arulmiku Sithivinayakar temple. During the early hours of Thursday 2nd November 2017, Hindus for their dismay and sorrow found the Arulmiku Sithivinayakar temple vandalized. Statues were uprooted from their bases. They were thrown away in the adjacent areas. Hindu environment has been desecrated.

This village is the target of religious conversions. These conversions are not from Islam to Christianity or vice versa. Both Muslims and Christians target the Hindu population.

Recently there was an advertisement consequent of a love jihad. The converted girl advertised the change of her name. Please see copy of advertisement:

Constitution of Sri Lanka, Article 9 reads: The Republic of Sri Lanka shall give to Buddhism the foremost place and accordingly it shall be the duty of the State to protect and foster the Buddha Sasana, while assuring to all religions the rights granted by Articles 10 and 14(1)(e).

Recent happenings in the three districts of the Northern Province, Mannar, Vavuniya and Mullaitivu, points to an unprecedented upsurge in ultranationalist violence by certain Christian and Islamic groups, marked by numerous attacks on Hindus and Hindu places of worship, that threatens to undermine the constitutional assurances to all religions the rights granted by Articles 10 and 14(1)(e).

Section 3 of the ICCPR Act of 2007 says:
(1) No person shall propagate war or advocate national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence.
(2) Every person who— (a) attempts to commit; (b) aids or abets in the commission of; or (c) threatens to commit, an offence referred to in subsection (1), shall be guilty of an offence under this Act.
(3) A person found guilty of committing an offence under subsection (1) or subsection (2) of this section shall on conviction by the High Court, be punished with rigorous imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years.
(4) An offence under this section shall be cognizable and non-bailable, and no person suspected or accused of such an offence shall be enlarged on bail, except by the High Court in exceptional circumstances.

Section 2(1)(h) of the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) says: words either spoken or intended to be read or by signs or by visible representations or otherwise causes or intends to cause commission of acts of violence or religious, racial or communal disharmony or feelings of ill-will or hostility between different communities or racial or religious groups;

The Penal Code of Sri Lanka contains sections 290-292 (offenses relating to the religions), which along with other similar provisions contain set of offenses relating to religion including uttering words with deliberate intention to injure religious feeling. The sections 291A and 291B are significant as they deal with hate acts.

LLRC recommendations on promoting religious harmony and co-existence, call for establishing a mechanism in consultation with inter-faith groups that can serve as an early warning and diffusing system of potential religious tension

The need of the hour is to ensure that law enforcement authorities investigate, arrest and prosecute perpetrators of attacks on places of Hindu religious worship.

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