Tamil politicians have strongly condemned former minister Mervyn Silva over his having publicly issued death threats to state officials for suspending development work at a Buddhist temple in Trincomalee due to opposition by Tamils.
Referring to the work suspension at Boralukanda Rajamaha Vihara at Periyakulam, Silva said that those who lay their hands on Buddhist temples and monks would be decapitated and their heads brought to his Kelaniya electorate.
On 09 July, divisional secretary P. Dhaneswaran wrote to the chief priest of the temple, asking him to halt clearing and construction work there on the instructions he received orally from MP R. Sampanthan and the east’s governor.
Noting that Sri Lanka is a Buddhist country, Silva said Catholics, Muslims and Hindus have the right to follow their religion.
All parties, not him, want to incite racism, he said, adding that all should rally together to expel thieves and commission-takers in the country.
Several Tamil politicians issued statements against the ‘beheading’ remark by the ex-minister.
TPF leader Mano Ganesan urged Tamil and Muslim MPs in the government to urge their leader Mahinda Rajapaksa as well as president Ranil Wickremesinghe to take legal action against this racial and religious provocation.
Former councilor Anandi Sasidaran said Silva is a person with a history of being a violent escapist.
His violent acts included an invasion of a media institution, assault on a public servant and halting offerings at Munneswaram Kovil, she said, adding that his statements cannot be justified as his right to freedom of expression.
Former councilor Saba Kugadas questioned if Silva is a chronic mental patient who utters filth in conceit.
Former councilor Thurairasa Raviharan said people like Mervyn Silva and Sarath Weerasekara should know the heroic history of the Tamils before uttering threats against them.
TNPF MP Selvaraja Gajendran said they were even prepared to ‘give up their heads’ to prevent the illegal Buddhistization of the Tamil land.
He claimed Tamils had never disrupted or harmed Buddhism, but would never allow invasion of their land and would oppose it democratically.
Thenkalai Adinam Ashram’s chief Sivatiru Agatiyar Adikalar asked the government to take legal action against Silva, as well as those who make disparaging remarks against religious places of Tamils.