Poson month painted with blood in 1987 | Daily News

Poson month painted with blood in 1987

35th anniversary of Aranthalawa massacre
The massacre recalled in sculpture inside the actual bus
The massacre recalled in sculpture inside the actual bus

The month of Poson (June) was soaked in blood in 1987 by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). Thirty one (31) Buddhist Bhikkus were brutally murdered 35 years ago. All Sri Lankan patriotic Buddhists who were born before 1967 remember this blood ridden dark day very well. But, unfortunately the people who were born after 1975 know nothing about it. Maybe they know something told by their parents or grandparents.

The barbaric LTTE cadres killed thousands of innocent poor people in Sri Lanka including Buddhist monks and religious leaders belonging to other religions, elderly, patients, pregnant mothers, infants, scholars and all. Nothing was done in connection with the violation of human rights of innocent poor people who lost their valuable lives, the people who became permanently disables and lost loved ones due to the barbaric acts of the LTTE. They used the most brutal way to kill them. They hacked them to death with swords and other weapons.

It was 7.15 in the morning of June 2nd 1987. A bus filled with small Samanera Buddhist Monks, their mentor Ven. Hegoda Indrasara Thera and a few civilians were stopped near the village of Nuwerathanne by the LTTE terrorists. They were going on a pilgrimage from their temple in Mahavapi to Kelaniya Raja Maha Viharaya in the Western Province. They were stopped by 20 armed terrorists. Then, the bus driver was ordered to drive the bus into the jungles of Aranthalawa for about 200 metres. After the bus stopped, the LTTE cadres went on a rampage, attacking the monks with guns and swords and also shooting some of them with machine guns.

The barbaric LTTE cadres massacred 33 Buddhist monks, most of them Samanera Monks (children). Four civilians were among them. Three monks who escaped the massacre sustaining critical injuries continue to require medical assistance. Another monk was permanently disabled. The massacre took place close to the village of Aranthalawa, in the Ampara district of the Eastern Province. This massacre is considered one of the most notorious and devastating atrocities committed by LTTE terrorists in the history of Sri Lanka.

In 2003, the STF (Special Task Force) and Helabima Organisation got together to build a monument near the very place where this massacre took place. In 2013, a memorial museum was built on this location using the same bus in which these monks were travelling by a local artist. The gruesome last minutes of these small novice monks has been re-created inside this bus and is open to the public.

This and similar attacks against Sinhalese civilians are carried out by the LTTE Tamil terrorists to antagonize the Sinhalese majority against the Tamil populace of the country, thereby creating rivalry between the two main ethnic groups of Sri Lanka. The LTTE terrorists hoped such animosity between the two races would result in removing all Sinhalese from their so-called lands, attacks by Sinhalese against Tamil civilians, which would increase support from Western Governments, Western backed NGOs and pro-LTTE terrorists in the UK, EU and US and the Tamil Diaspora funding towards their separatism campaign. Buddhist monks were incapable of defending themselves. But they never left the area. They sacrificed their precious lives to protect innocent poor civilians belonging to all ethnicities and all religions.

Dimbulaga Hamuduruwo was the pioneer in restoring the ancient Buddhist monastery, the Dimbulagala Raja Maha Vihara in the 1950s and was the Chief Incumbent of the monastery for around four decades. He lived a modest life and spent his life for the development of the ancient monastery and for the uplift of the poor peasants who lived in the surrounding areas of the Polonnaruwa District in the North Central Province.

On May 26, 1995 Kithalagama Sri Seelalankara Nayaka Thera, popularly known as Dimbulagala Hamuduruwo was killed by the LTTE when he was on his way to visit a farm belonging to the temple. He provided moral support to the poor people living in border villages to fight LTTE intrusions into their villages. He was the Chief Sanghanayaka of the Northern and Eastern Provinces and Tamankaduva area at the time of his death. Sri Lanka Post issued a postage stamp on July 21, 2005, to commemorate his valuable service to the nation.

Harming of monks is considered to be one of the highest offences in Theravada Buddhism or even among Hinduism. The majority of Tamils are Hindus. The massacre is considered to be one of the most brutal attacks carried out against religious clerics in the world. Each year, the Aranthalawa Massacre is commemorated by a series of special programmes. Throughout the course of LTTE terrorism in Sri Lanka, the LTTE has carried out a number of similar attacks against Buddhist sites.

The murderous LTTE cadres who killed thousands of innocent poor people in Sri Lanka including Buddhist monks, priests belong to all the other religions, elderly, patients, pregnant mothers, infants, scholars, politicians and all. They used the most brutal way to kill them.They hacked them to death using swords and other weapons. The deaths were not sudden. The majority who died suffered for hours and hours exactly knowing that they died without being able to get help from outside.

The villages located next to the LTTE held areas were called the ‘Border Villages’. The people living in those villages lived in fear of getting hacked to death by the LTTE at any moment during 24 X 7.

They never slept at night and they went into thick jungles with their elderly, sick, pregnant mothers, infants etc. to spend the night. Even pregnant mothers had to climb atop tree tops in order to spend the night and see the sunrise on the following day. They did everything possible to stay alive. Buddhist Monks provided them psychological support by staying in those border villages with people without leaving them. But sometimes the LTTE cadres located them in the dense jungles and hacked them to death.

Now it is the duty of all Sri Lankans to assist those who protect Sri Lanka against all types of threats, especially all types of terrorism and make sure that the power does not go into the hands of traitors of Mother Lanka. The past conduct of any individual is the best and only measurement that we can use to judge the individual and to check whether he/she really harbour genuine patriotic feelings in them and is ready to sacrifice his/her life for the country. Anyone can talk but very few can prove this through acts. The people of Sri Lanka should be wise enough to select.



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