Muslims of Oaddamaavadi village in Batticaloa were shocked on Monday early morning this week when they saw a Buddha statue placed on a table in the middle of the playground of Pi’rainthu’raich-chenai Ashar Viththiyaalayam in Vaazhaich-cheanai. Oaddamavadi is a Muslim dominated town, located 32 km north of Batticaloa city. The playground is located close to Buddha Jayanthi Vihara in Vaazhaich-cheanai. The head of the Buddhist vihara had attempted to seize the playground from the school in 2010.
The School Development Society (SDS) of the Ashar school immediately lodged a complaint with the Vaazhaich-cheanai police stating that the statue had been placed in the middle of the playground of the school as act of provocation against the Muslims.
Pi’rainthu’raich-chenai Ashar Vidiyalayam is using the playground for the last thirty years holding sports meets and cultural activities, the SDS sources said.
Three years ago, on March 01, 2010, the head of the Buddha Jayanthi Vihara forcibly demolished the boundary wall between the playground and the vihara.
The head of the Buddhist vihara had also warned the school staff and students not to enter the land that he claimed as the property of the vihara. However, the SDS moved the matter to the District Court, which ruled that the said land belonged to the school as its playground.