"Kuranthan Malai, a quiet peaceful spot in Tamil-populated Mullaitivu with ruins
of both Hindu and Buddhist places of worship, will soon house an exclusive Buddhist vihare
and temple and a Sinhala settlement, according to plans drawn up by officials working
under the Ministry of Industries and Scientific Affairs. Army personnel, an ex-Director of
a Public Corporation under the Ministry who was also a leading member of the UNP Trade
Union - the Jathika Sevaka Sangamaya- -several Ceramics Corporation vehicles, and
employees of the government Tile factory of Oddichuddan 20 miles away- have all been
enlisted in the implementation of this project.
Hindu statues found in the site have been taken away in Army vehicles, according to
the local villagers, as far back as November last year. Kuruntlian Malai situated in the
Nagancholai Forest Reserve has long been held in veneration by the Vanni Tamils as the
dwelling place of the guardian deity, Kurandoor Aiyanar. The building of a Buddhist vihare
at the site began several months ago, and some employees of the Tile factory have been
engaged in this, with orders apparently to do it unobtrusively without attracting public
attention to the building activity.
Following this, some local inhabitants had put up a hut and installed a
"Choolam" (trident) on the spot, but Army personnel from the Mullaitivu camp had
demolished the hut, thrown away the "Choolam", chased away some of the Tamil
families in the area and had taken away some of the youths in the area for questioning.
Since then, a new road has been built through the Nagancholai Forest Reserve, to
facilitate accessibility to this site from Oddichuddan. Three major consequences flow from
this move, quite apparently initiated by the Ministry of Industries:
(1) Archaeological sites are being damaged irrevocably, preventing any genuine
archaeological research on them in the future; (2) Tamils who have lived in the area for
generations are being displaced by new Sinhala colonists.; (3) Hindu religious sites are
being furtively desecrated thus preventing identification of such sites in the future.
But what seems to be the most vicious attempt- an attempt which might well succeed
in the present political circumstances - is a grand strategy to destroy the contiguity of
Tamil populations of the Mullaitivu, Vavuiiiya and the Trincomalee districts.
The Padaviya Sinhala colonies are expanding east-wards in an attempt to connect up with
the Kokkilai Lagoon area. It is believed that with the pressures from the Mullaitivu Army
camp on the northeast, the Tile factory of the Ministry of Industries at Oddichuddan on
the North - west-two powerful repositories of State power - a spill over from the Padaviya
settlements is bound to occur, as it has been in other instances in the past.
When that happens, the Tamils in three districts will be effectively cut off from each.
other, thereby not only losing a slice of their traditional homeland but weakened to a
position where they cannot withstand further incursions in times to come...."(Saturday
Review, March 20, 1982)