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SL gets 'tsunami gift' from Thailand

Lankans are worshiping shrines washed ashore by tsunami. HT Relief Fund
PTI | By PK balachanddran, Colombo
UPDATED ON JAN 30, 2005 11:56 AM IST

Sri Lankans in the eastern coastal district of Batticaloa have begun worshiping two Thai Buddhist shrines washed ashore by the tsunami of December 26.

The small but ornate shrines were washed ashore at Vaharai, an area controlled by the Tamil rebel group, LTTE, and at Mankerni, an area controlled by Sri Lankan government troops.

"The shrine at Mankerni contains an idol of the Buddha, a cradle, a pillow and some yellow coloured holy thread called nool," a resident of Batticaloa told Hindustan Times on Saturday.

"It has now become an object of veneration and worship for the religious minded Hindu Tamils of the village, and Buddhist army troops from a camp nearby," the resident said.

"A Buddhist priest from Batticaloa has visited the shrine to see if it can be turned into a proper shrine fit for regular worship."

In Vaharai too, the people have begun to worship the shrine, which came from the sea, according to Deputy Secretary of Vaharai division, M Uthaya Kumar. The shrine carried a Buddhist flag.

"The shrine is made in the traditional Nepali or the Thai style," Uthaya Kumar said, suggesting that it might have come from Thailand, which was also hit by the tsunami.

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