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Government Gazette

Aranthalawa massacre, one of the darkest chapters in Lankan history - Ven. Kirindiwela Somarathana Thera

COLOMBO: We want to show the International community the real face of the LTTE terrorists who do not represent the Tamil community of Sri Lanka, Rajakeeya Panditha Ven.Kirindiwela Somarathana Thera said.

Addressing a press briefing held at the Government Information Department yesterday in connection with the 20th Anniversary of Aranthalawa Bhikku Massacre, Ven. Somarathana Thera said that it is very sad to see certain persons pretending that nothing like the Aranthalawa incident took place.

“During the Tsunami disaster 4,000 Tamil people sought shelter under the same roof where we had bodies of 31 Bhikkus hacked to death by the LTTE. It was Bhikkus who provided food and drinks for those 4000 Tamil people. There is no racism or human rights violation here,” the Ven. Thera said.

“Some pretend they do not see or remember anything about this horrendous massacre where Ven.Hegoda Shri Indrasara Thera and 30 other Bhikkus were hacked to death in broad day light.

There is no intention of creating hatred among communities by reminding the past. The massacre of 31 Bhikkus by the LTTE on June 02, 1987 marked one of the darkest chapters in Sri Lankan history. Unfortunately the same terrorism still exists in this country and it is the right time to make sure that these types of incidents never take place here ever again,” he said.

Ven.Inginiyagala Sagara Thera said that there is no aim to create hatred among communities or promote racism by reminding the LTTE’s past massacres. It was the Sinhalese who were ill treated and discriminated all the time but no one spoke about it.

Sinhalese cannot travel beyond Anuradhapura but the Tamil community members live peacefully in Colombo and all parts of the country and get on with Sinhalese people very well. It is terrorism that all of us have to identify accurately and eradicate from the country.

Additional Secretary to the President, M.D.W. Ariyawansha said that although 20 years have passed since the LTTE killed 31 Bhikkus at Arantalawa and although the LTTE carried out several brutal attacks such as attack on the Sri Dalada Maligawa, Jaya Shri Maha Bodhi etc. we couldn’t open the eyes of the International community because of the shrewd publicity campaign of the LTTE.

One of the main objectives of this commemoration is opening the eyes of the International community and showing the true face of the LTTE. The other objective is stressing the importance of eradicating terrorism in order to achieve a lasting peace. There is no intention of creating hatred among communities at all,” he added.

Public Trustee J.M.J.P.Bandara said that while Prabhakaran has decided to give T56s to children, President Mahinda Rajapaksa has decided to give children the opportunity to learn Dhamma and promote Buddhism.

“I wonder where certain INGOs, NGOs and certain persons campaigning for human rights violation were, when the LTTE massacred 31 Samaneras in 1987 simply for being Sinhala Buddhists. I wonder where those NGOs were when the LTTE killed Ven. Handungamuwe Nandarathana Thera a few weeks ago.”

Chief Organiser of the photography exhibition, Ananda Priyanath said that a grand exhibition of 300 photographs taken at different massacre sites commencing from the 1975 Alfred Duraiappa assassination will be put on display during the exhibition creating awareness on the activities of the LTTE among the local and International community. This exhibition will open the eyes of certain INGOs, NGOs and other persons campaigning for the LTTE.

The exhibition will be conducted in foreign countries in order to give a true and clear picture about the LTTE to the international community which is the responsibility of Sri Lankan missions abroad, he said.



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