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Guruvayur temple clarifies stand on Rajapakse's visit

Source: PTI
Last updated on: January 15, 2006 20:55 IST
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The Guruvayur temple authorities on Sunday clarified that Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse's wife was allowed to enter the temple, where the entry is restricted to those in the pan-Hindu fold, based on information provided by the officials concerned that she was a Singhalese Buddhist.

When asked about media reports from Colombo in this regard, temple administrator Anil Kumar said, as per the temple tradition, Buddhists and Jains were considered part of the Hindu fold.

If the Sri Lankan President's wife was found to be a Christian, the purificatory ceremony would be carried out after consultation with the temple trantri, who is the traditional authority in matters concerning the temple's tradtions and rituals, he said.

The Indian as well as Sri Lankan authorities had been informed in advance of the visit of Rajapakse and his wife Shiranti Rajapakse on December 30 that non-Hindus would not be allowed to enter the shrine, he said.

"The central and state authorities as well as the Sri Lankan officials had been informed in advance about the temple's tradition of allowing only Hindus to enter the shrine. Also, they were informed about the dress-code to be followed. Buddhists and Jains form part of the Hindu fold as per the traditions followed by the temple for long. Only those included in the list provided by the officials concerned had entered the temple," he said.

Meanwhile, the state protocol officer said there was no room for a controversy over the issue as it had been ascertained from Colombo that Rajapakse's wife is a Buddhist.

"She is a Buddhist. It has been ascertained from Indian High Commission in Colombo," the official told PTI.

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