Inquiries indicate it to be an isolated instance

A statue of Mahatma Gandhi was vandalised late on Thursday in the east Sri Lankan town of Batticaloa, the headquarters of the Tamil-dominated Eastern province. Three other statues were also desecrated.

India has taken up the issue of desecration and requested that the Gandhi statue be rebuilt. Indian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Ashok K. Kantha spoke to Sri Lankan Foreign Secretary K. Amunugama. Conveying India's concern, he requested urgent investigations into the incident. The High Commission has also taken up the issue with the Chief Minister of the Eastern province and the Inspector General of Police.

Second instance

Initial inquiries indicated it to be an isolated instance, and not the work of an organised group. This is the second time in a year that a statue has been desecrated. Sometime ago, a Vivekananda statue was targeted.

The other three statues are of Tamil scholar Swami Vipulananda, poet Periyathampi Pillai and Scouts Movement founder Baden Powell. The statues of Gandhi and Powell are located near the city centre.

In a release, the Sri Lankan Ministry of External Affairs said: “It has been brought to the notice of the Ministry of External Affairs that several important statues in the Batticaloa town have been vandalized...The Inspector General of Police has been instructed to carry out an immediate and thorough investigation into these incidents to identify motives and culprits behind these acts of vandalism.”