Indian Hindu groups to back ‘Hindu Tamils’ in Sri Lanka

December 17th, 2008 - 9:12 am ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Dec 17 (IANS) Two leading Hindu groups in India have declared their support to “Hindu Tamils” in Sri Lanka after a Tamil MP from there alleged attacks by security forces on temples in the island.The Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) and Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) told M.K. Shivaji Lingam of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) separately that they opposed assaults on Hindu shrines and culture in Sri Lanka.

“You can tell your people that we will be with them. We are here to help Hindus. Since most Sri Lankan Tamils are Hindus, we won’t let them down,” the Sri Lankan MP quoted HP chief Ashok Singhal as telling him at the group’s headquarters here.

Shivaji Lingam is one of over 20 MPs in Sri Lanka from the TNA, the largest Tamil bloc in parliament who are allied to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

Shivaji Lingam told IANS that he and K. Nagaimugan, president of the Bharatiya Forward Bloc in Tamil Nadu, informed Singhal and VHP leader S. Vedantam that security forces and Sinhalese supremacists in Sri Lanka had destroyed or damaged scores of Hindu temples.

He said security forces had taken over many Hindu temples and in many cases property of these shrines had been badly damaged.

“Hindu culture (in Sri Lanka) is at stake,” Shivaji Lingam said. Singhal said he was not aware of the losses suffered by Hindu temples in Sri Lanka’s dragging war.

Most Sri Lankan Tamils are Hindus while an overwhelming majority of the Sinhalese are Buddhists. Both communities have many Christians too. Muslims, the second largest minority after Tamils, mostly speak Tamil but consider themselves a distinct ethnic group.

RSS joint general secretary Suresh Joshi also told Shivaji Lingam and Nagaimugan that his organisation would not allow Hindu religion as well as shrines to be attacked in Sri Lanka. “We will not allow Hindus anywhere to suffer,” Joshi reportedly said.

The Tamil MP said his meetings with Joshi and Singhal lasted one hour each.

Shivaji Lingam, who flew into New Delhi Monday, had earlier met Jayendra Saraswathi, the Shankaracharya of Kanchipuram in Tamil Nadu who enjoys close ties with the RSS and VHP.

The MP said a meeting had been fixed with Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader L.K. Advani here on Sunday and that other MPs from TNA could join him that day.

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