Attack on Buddhist Centre in London

By Neville de Silva

The Sri Saddhatissa International Buddhist Centre in Kingsbury in London came under attack by unidentified persons causing damage to the building and a vehicle parked in the premises.

Police in the Brent Council area have called for information from the public about the early morning attack during which vandals smashed several of the temple windows and damaged a car parked in the premises.

Suspicion has fallen on Sri Lanka Tamils, possibly pro-LTTE ones, as retaliation against the temple because of the visit to it by President Mahinda Rajapaksa who transited London the previous weekend on his way to New York to address the UN General Assembly and participate in the special summit of Commonwealth leaders.

The President also visited the older London Buddhist Vihara during the same visit. But that temple is located in a predominantly 'white' neighbourhood whereas Kingsbury has a mix of ethnic groups with a sizeable Tamil population and so the Kingsbury temple was more vulnerable, according to residents here.

Meanwhile the Sri Lanka High Commission has condemned the Friday morning attack on the Sri Saddhatissa International Buddhist Centre in Kingsbury in London causing damage to the building and a vehicle parked in the premises.

Praising the temple for its work in the area which was more than the teaching of the Buddha dhamma, the High Commission called the vandalism a denial of pluralism that lies at the heart of liberal democracy.

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