Ranjith Soysa

TNA MP Sumanthiran voicing the opinion of his party insists that no Buddhist temples should be allowed to be constructed in the North and the East. We, the Sri Lankan people would request Mr Sumanthiran to further clarify his extremely communal statement and to state how the TNA reached such a maverick conclusion.

One wonders whether Sumathiran is attempting to resurrect the once considered important but discarded by the historians, the infamous Cleghorn minute or the TULF manifesto which claimed ..” Tamil Eelam shall consist of the people of the Northern and Eastern provinces” leading to the myth of Tamils traditional homeland. The influx of people of South Indian origin was only around 1650 when the Dutch settled them in Jaffna to work in the tobacco plantations.

TNA should realize that any exclusive claims to any part of land of Sri Lanka was totally rejected and blown over in Nanadikadal. The fact that the Sinhalese lived in the North and the East for more than 2000 years and they have historically important areas in the North and the East cannot be denied. As the land belongs to the State of Sri Lanka and when the people need to be settled in meeting the demand as the population increase as well for the economic and national security objectives decisions will have to be taken from the national point of view rather than on myths.

The Sinhala Buddhists who built the civilization and fought against the foreign rulers as well the separatist forces have the absolute right to build the temples etc in any area of Sri Lanka. No one can attempt to restrict this inalienable right of the Sinhala Buddhists to live and attend to their basic rights in any province. It is very relevant to mention that there is a piece of legislation introduced by the British in 1892 that excluding the Buddhists, all other religious groups should obtain the permission of the Governor to build places of worship.. Are we to assume that the Buddhists in Sri Lanka should agitate to forcefully implement this law?

We request the TNA MP, the TNA and the fellow travellers to DESIST from recreating communal discord and not to get lost in the wash. They are reminded of the paths leading to possible unenviable repercussions of slap-dash racist utterances affecting all Sri Lankans,


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