Sri Lankan religious condemn Indian temple attack

Sri Lankan Buddhist temple in Chennai was a place for interreligious harmony

Sri Lankan religious condemn Indian temple attack
Leaders from various religions at the press conference reporter, Colombo, Sri Lanka

January 28, 2011

Sri Lankan Buddhist, Christian, Hindu and Muslim religious leaders in Sri Lanka have condemned the southern Indian attack on the Sri Maha Bodhi Buddhist Temple in Chennai that injured four Buddhist monks.

“We totally condemn the attack over the Buddhist monks temple in Chennai…The Chennai temple is a historical place for interreligious harmony,” said Venerable Galagama Dhammaransi Thero, co-chairman of the Inter-Religious Alliance for National Unity, during a Jan. 28 press conference attended by 17 clerics from different religions in Colombo.

Around 10 people armed with clubs barged into the Sri Lankan Maha Bodhi Society Temple office and damaged furniture and office equipment.

Four Buddhist monks who tried to stop them were injured. Venerable Kamburugamuwe Vajira Thero, a noted Sri Lankan interreligious activist and professor of Buddhism, was among the injured monks.

“Some people will have the wrong interpretation for this kind of attack. We should live together as one family which consist of Buddhists, Christians, Muslims and Hindus,” said Pastor Easwara Kankanamge Yasaratne, secretary of the Baptist Society in Sri Lanka.

Venerable Theeniyawala Palitha Thero, deputy secretary of the association and chief incumbent priest at Mahabodhi Viharaya, said the temple incurred an estimated damage of about 2 million rupees (US$43,600) from the attack.

Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith, Catholic archbishop of Colombo has called on people in Sri Lanka to stay calm and pray for the monks’ recovery.

The Maha Bodhi Society temple in Chennai, is 80 years old and receives about 1.2 million pilgrim visitors annually.

Related reports
Religious leaders remember tsunami victims
Anglican pleads to save Tamil anthem