2ND LEAD (UPDATE)

SL Army, Archaeology dept appropriate lands of uprooted Tamils in Maathakal

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 08 September 2010, 07:46 GMT]
Sri Lanka government’s archaeological department with the help of Sri Lanka Army is constructing more structures in Thirvadinilai in Maathakal in Vallikaamam North SLA High Security Zone (HSZ), in addition to a Buddhist temple erected in October 2009. This area had been the home of Tamil families living there since ancient times evicted twenty years ago when Valikaamam North HSZ was established by SLA. Now the families are not allowed even to see their own places in Maathakal while thousands of Sinhala Buddhist pilgrims visit the newly built temple daily which now has become a 'tourist attraction' in Jaffna peninsula, sources in Jaffna said.

Buddhist pilgrims in Maathakal
Sinhala-Buddhist pilgrims permitted to the site where owners of the land can't go


The particular location has been presumed in the early 20th century as the ancient port town Ko'la-patuna, mentioned in the Pali chronicles as the place where the Asokan Buddhist emissary landed in the island in the 3rd century BCE.

Ko'la-patuna is a Prakritised name of Tamil Kozhu-paddinam, meaning the port town at the point, which indicates that people living at that time in the ancient port town were Tamils.

The present Tamil place name Thiruvadi-nilai for the locality, meaning the spot of sacred foot-print, came into existence from the memory of a foot-print said to have existed at the site.

Sri Lanka president’s wife Shiranthi Rajapaksa and his son Namal Rajapaksa had in October 2009 brought a statue of Sanghamita, Emperor Aoska’s daughter and the first woman Buddhist missionary to the island, to be enshrined in the newly built Buddhist temple in Maathakal in the military High Security Zone.

During the same time Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa had appointed Ven. Warapitiya Rahula Thero, a Sinhala-Buddhist monk, as the curator for archaeological sites and artefacts in Jaffna peninsula in an attempt to fabricate evidence to show the Sinhala masses and the outer world that traces of Buddhism in Jaffna peninsula are exclusively Sinhala.

Ven. Rahula Thero will go into action following the footsteps of the successive Sinhala regimes which have tried to rewrite the history of Sri Lanka in favour of Sinhalese Buddhists, Tamils circles said.

Buddhist Stupa in Maathakal
A Buddhist Stupa newly built at the site


The pilgrims from South entering through the front line check post of the army HSZ in Thellippalai go to Keerimalai and then to the Buddhist temple in Thiruvadinilai in Maathakal where Sanghamitta's statue is enshrined.

Meanwhile, SLA does not permit the uprooted families from Thiruvadinilai to go no further than Keerimalai and they now just watch the thousands of pilgrims going to their places passing them.

Pansala in Maathakal
The Pansala or Image-House built newly at Thiruvadi-nilai


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