//Sri Lankan first lady’s visit : Hindu priest ready for Cleansing rituals

Sri Lankan first lady’s visit : Hindu priest ready for Cleansing rituals

GURUVAYUR: The act of Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse and his Christian wife Siranthi Rajapakse, seeking the blessings of Guruvayoorappan for peace in the island nation, has raked up a spiritual controversy. The spiritual blunder, cutting across bilateral ties and consonance of views between the two countries, is likely to snowball, as the think-tank of the Guruvayur Devaswom (GD) are waiting for official confirmation about her faith.
If the Presidents wife is a Christian, we will have to redo all the poojas from December 30 (the day of the visit) to the present date. Cleansing rituals will have to be done as well. We have already begun preparation for the cleansing rituals, temple Mukhya Tanthri Chennas Raman Namboodiripad told this website’s newspaper.

A Sri Lankan anti-government newspaper Sunday Leader had first scooped this issue, which was also taken up by the mainstream Sri Lankan media. Noting that non-Hindus were not allowed in the temple, it said the only exception was for Buddhists, with Buddha regarded as a god of the Hindus.Back home, the State Government is frantically defending its stand.

We have communicated every detail of the temple to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA). The MEA had even asked for a clarification regarding the entry of Buddhists inside the temple. Kerala Government had clearly informed the MEA that non-Hindus are prohibited entry inside the holy precincts of the temple.
This was why Sri Lankan High Commissioner to India, Jayasinghe, who is a Christian, the Presidents chief security officer Fernandes and chief of protocol, Sri Lanka, Amza, who is a Muslim, were retained at Cochin Airport during the visit, said State Protocol Officer Sreekumar.

Temple sources say Rajapakses cousin had also come to the temple, a couple of days before the Presidential visit, to enquire about the rituals and customs of the temple. The cousin had booked the venna thulabharam for the President, paying Rs 13,000. The government is in touch with the Indian High Commissioner to get the details. If this is confirmed, thantric rituals will be performed as per the directive of the Mukhya Tanthri, Devaswom Minister K.C. Venugopal said, adding that, steps will be taken to prevent such incidents in future.

RAJAPAKSE ADDS…

Meanwhile, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse said his wife Siranthi was a Buddhist by religion and an ardent devotee of Sree Satya Sai Baba.Some anti-government lobby in Sri Lanka is behind the allegations, he told Chief Minister Oommen Chandy during a telephone conversation.

Monday January 16 2006 08:49 IST
http://newindpress.com/NewsItems.asp?ID=IER20060115222811&Page=R&Title=Kerala&Topic=0&

Guruvayur temple authorities clarify

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Guruvayur Sri Krishna temple administrators on Monday clarified that Siranthi Rajapakse, wife of Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse, who had recently visited the temple, was a Buddhist by religion and an ardent devotee of Sri Satya Sai Baba.

Guruvayur Devaswom Administrator K. Anilkumar, in a statement here, said that “there is no reason for any anxiety and suspicion about the Sri Lankan President and his wife’s visit and darshan at Guruvayur.” Mr. Anilkumar said he had contacted Indian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Nirupama Roy and confirmed these facts.“Since she is a Buddhist, there is nothing controversial about her darshan in the temple and also it has not caused any harm to Hindu tradition,” he added. – UNI

Hindu, Jan 17, 2006