TNA to meet Prez over kovil issue

By Skandha Gunasekara

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) is to meet with President Maithripala Sirisena to discuss the issue of Hindu kovils being arbitrarily taken over by the Archaeological Department and being recognised as Buddhist sites, The Sunday Morning learnt.

TNA Parliamentarian M.A. Sumanthiran told The Sunday Morning that tensions had arisen among local communities in various areas in the North and East due to the arbitrary actions of the Archaeological Department.

“We have been informed that Hindu kovils are being taken over by the Archaeological Department. The kovil at the Kanniya hot springs in Trincomalee has been there for hundreds of years and was to be reconstructed, but the Archaeological Department has now come and declared it a Buddhist religious site,” the MP said, adding that the actions of the Department had caused tensions to rise among the local community.

He said the TNA hoped to resolve the matter with the President.

“We have requested a meeting with the President and we expect him to schedule a date soon. We need to sit down and solve this problem before this becomes another Jerusalem,” Sumanthiran said.

He said that even other areas including the Central Province have seen kovils being taken over the by Archaeological Department.