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Press Release : Appeal of HRDI for Renovation of the Vandalized Statutes in SriLanka and Acation against the Perpetrators

Human Rights Defence India has appealed to the High Commissioner of Sri Lanka through its letter dated 11th April, 2012 against the statute vandalism going on in Batticaloa, Sri Lanka. HRDI strongly opposes the desecration of several venerable statues in Batticaloa including those of Mahatma Gandhi, Swami Vivekananda, Swami Vipulanananda, Robert Baden-Powell and Lankan Tamil poets Pulavarmani Periyathampi Pillai etc. all of whom command respect of the society.

HRDI appealed to the Sri Lankan Government through the High Commissioner of Sri Lanka to investigate these cases of desecration thoroughly. It also informed them of 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 beheading and vandalism of various statues at Batticaloa has caused grief to the Tamils. There is an unfortunate history of vandalism of statues in public space in Sri Lanka.

HRDI further appealed to the Sri Lankan Government that the perpetrators must be brought to justice and that renovation should be undertaken.

(The contents of the appeal are extracted below.)

Rajesh Gogna,

Secretary General,

HRDI.

M- 99 11 22 22 51.

 

 

 

 

 

Hon’ble High Commissioner,                                                                 Date: 11th April, 2012

High Commission of Sri Lanka,

New Delhi.

 

 

Subject: Statue Vandalism in Batticaloa.

 

Your Excellency,

 

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.

 

Thanking You.

Yours sincerely,

 

Rajesh Gogna,

(Secretary General)

E- rajeshgogna@hrdi.in

W- www.hrdi.in

L- 91 11 23 71 89 29

M- 99 11 22 22 51.

 

 

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