Sri Lanka’s Destruction of Hindu Temples Threatens Tourism Dollars and International Support Package

Opinion by Mathew Carr

Feb. 5, 2023 — The Sri Lanka government’s oversight of destruction, damage and replacement of Tamil/Hindu temples may see the nation miss out on tourism dollars and further slow the finalization of its international financial-support package.

The ruling government has ties to the Buddhist faith.

This weekend, I’ve heard of upset citizens urging protests against the continued damage to Hindu temples. Some of this damage is apparently being caused under the fake motivation of economic progress. The real motivation is to hurt minorities who might not vote for the ruling regime in future elections.

If the government curbs its alleged inclination to discriminate against minority religions, it will probably have a better chance of being seen as an inclusive government and also of getting and keeping both tourist dollars and international support in the immediate and longer terms. Financial aid for meeting the 17 sustainable development goals by 2030 may also be at risk.

See this context from a few weeks ago and this punchy article published earlier today:

Many of the temples and lands are arbitrarily occupied by Sinhala Buddhist colonisers who are now building Buddhist temples and shrines. It is not unusual to hear Buddhist chants blaring from loudspeakers in the evenings in a town like Batticaloa, where the vast majority of the populace speak Tamil and are of the Hindu, Christian or Muslim faith. The message is clear.

This has been compounded by the ubiquitous white van abduction of Tamil men ...”

Geographical website’s story is informative and includes this picture of a key temple in apparently good condition:

I have sought commentary from the Sri Lanka government.

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