To Counter Conversions, Sri Lanka’s Hindus Form Siva Senai

Minority Hindus of the ethnic Tamil community celebrate a temple festival in Colombo. (SENA VIDANAGAMA/AFP/Getty Images)

As per a New Indian Express report, Maravanpulavu Sachchithananthan, a former United Nations official who is now a publisher and Tamil nationalist, has formed Siva Senai (Siva’s Army). The purpose of this “army” is to enable Sri Lankan Hindus to counter threats from other religious groups in that country.

Although defining his organisation’s aim of protecting the Hindus of Sri Lanka (all Shaivites), who face threats from Christians, Muslims and Buddhists, Sachchithananthan has said that the Sri Lankan Siva Senai is not in any way related to India’s Shiv Sena.

Our first objective is to stop conversion. We are for safeguarding Hindu temples from encroachments by other religions. For instance, there is a huge church in front of the ancient Thiruketheeswaram temple in violation of an agreement entered into in the 1960s. In Mannar and Mullaitivu we face challenges from the Catholics…

The Senai also intends to put Hindus in crucial roles in the Sri Lankan Tamil leadership.

For 60 years, the Hindus of Sri Lanka have sacrificed their interest at the altar of Tamil unity and that cannot go on. The leadership of the Tamil movement has been dominated by Christians. Many in India would ask me if the Tamils of Sri Lanka are Christian!

The Siva Senai has appointed organisers for all the 25 districts of Sri Lanka. But such a massive project will require external support. Realising this, Sachchithanantham said he expects to get funding from India and the Tamil diaspora.

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