Hon’ble High Commissioner, Date: 11th April, 2012
High Commission of Sri Lanka,
Subject: Statue Vandalism in Batticaloa.
This is in regard to the terrible statue vandalism going on in Batticaloa. Human Rights Defense International strongly condemns the vandalism of several venerable statues at Batticaloa, Sri Lanka. The statues desecrated included those of Mahatma Gandhi, Swami Vipulanananda, Robert Baden-Powell and Lankan Tamil poets Pulavarmani Periyathampi Pillai etc all of whom command respect of the society. In January, a statue of Swami Vivekananda was desecrated in Batticaloa by a motorbike squad. But we are dismayed to know that the suspect was later released ostensibly under political pressure.
HRDI appeals to the Sri Lankan government to investigate these cases of desecration thoroughly. We also wish to bring to your notice the fact that any complicity on the part of the Sri Lankan establishment is likely to be interpreted as connivance to assault on Lankan Tamil psyche. The statue of Mahatma Gandhi was installed in 1960s by the initiative of Parliamentarian C. Rajadurai. Mahatma Gandhi visited Sri Lanka in 1927. He was welcomed by all sections of the Ceylonese society and delivered around 30 speeches. Swami Vipulananda (1892-1947) was an illustrious Tamil scholar and architect of Ramakrishna Vivekananda Movement in Sri Lanka. He was also an ardent educationist who contributed to the growth of first rate Hindu schools in the island.
HRDI has always maintained a stand that all sections of the society must maintain their composure. But the madness at Batticaloa has created a hurt space amongst Tamils. There is an unfortunate history of vandalism of statues in public space in Sri Lanka. It calls for a redress.
HRDI sincerely appeals to the Sri Lankan Government that the perpetrators must be brought to justice. New statues of those national icons must be installed at those spots.
L- 91 11 23 71 89 29
M- 99 11 22 22 51.