An officer from Sri Lanka’s Minister Security Division (MSD) threatened to shoot Tamil and Muslim protesters for opposing the installation of a Buddha statue in Ponmalaikuda, Pulmoaddai in Trincomalee.
Locals were outraged yesterday when a group of Sinhala Buddhist monks, officers from Sri Lanka’s Archeology Department and Sri Lanka’s security forces attempted to install a Buddha statue on land belonging to Tamils and Muslims. The protesters gathered in the area after one of the monk’s drivers broke a farmer’s fence to enter and seize the land.
The security officer pulled out his gun and threatened to shoot the protesters as they tried to stop the installation. Locals are expressed fears that the installation forms part of the ongoing Sinhalisation of Pulmoaddai, a Trincomalee town which borders Mullaitivu.
A 2019 report by People for Equality and Relief in Lanka (PEARL) highlights how Sinhalisation and militarisation is used to deliberately shift the demographics of Tamil and Muslim areas.
The North-East has been subject to Sinhalisation for decades but efforts have intensified in recent years with the aid of Sri Lanka’s military and archeology department.