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Girihadu Seya-Thiriyaya

- Built when Buddha was alive in north India -

Two merchants Thapassu and Balluka were fortunate enough to offer the very first alms giving to Buddha after he reached Buddha hood in 528 BC. Responding to their request, Buddha handed over to them his hair as a relic.

According to a stone inscription dated to the eighth century found in the ruins, these two merchants carried the hair relic with them on all foreign business trips. Then these two merchants arrived in Lanka on a business venture. They placed the hair relic on a rock and went to collect some water and some wood. On their return, they couldn't lift the container, which had the hair relic. Realizing that the spot was a blessed place, they decided, in accordance with the tradition, to build a Dagaba enshrining the relic. This was how Girihaduseya Dagaba was built in Thiriyaya in Sri Lanka, enshrining this hair relic given to the two merchants. This is another example of the diversity of the merchants who visited Lanka for business purposes.

Another stone inscription belonging to the second century BC proved that this was a monastery as far back as 150 BC. Like all other Buddhist shrines, this place was also destroyed several times by the invaders and the traitors in Lanka.

In 407AD, Buddhaghosa, the greatest Buddhist commentator, recorded the beauty of the Girihaduseya Dagaba in the Thiriyaya Buddhist Temple. He said that just looking at the Dagaba was enough to feel peace and tranquility. He said Thiriyaya was a large Buddhist temple.

The Great Vijayabahu, who liberated Lanka from the Chola occupation, restored the Buddhist temple.

In 1216 AD, in the dreaded 22nd invasion, the South Indian invader Kalingha Magha and the local traitors who hired him destroyed the whole complex. After that the South Indians called the place "Neethupathpana". Some South Indian extremists began to call the place "Kandasamymalai".

The Thiriyaya Dagaba was restored in 1952 AD. Thiriyaya is situated 45 kilometers northwest of Trincomalee.

In 1985, The LTTE terrorists attacked the Kuchchaveli police station, which provided security to the Buddhist holy places in the area. Following this deadly attack, Thiriyaya was exposed to the terrorists. All Sinhalese in the area were wiped in ethnic cleansing, which was covered up by the powerful propaganda machine. The weak government institutions run by the incapable officials who had no imagination or the foresight to understand exactly what to do, simply sat on the problem. Facing certain death, all 15 Buddhist monks had to leave the temple. Since then, the racists who are trying to carve out a separate state in the north and the east had destroyed all what was left. That included the Vishrama Salawa, Bana Madura, Vihara Geya, and Sangavasaya.

Then the Sri Lanka Navy's infantry units were assigned to maintain law and order in the area. These excellent troops did a very good job. The racists tried and continue to tarnish their image using the powerful propaganda machine to discredit them. But these brave young servicemen are ensuring peace and harmony for all within a multi-cultural environment against tremendous odds. They try to protect Thiriyaya.

Thiriyaya survives at the moment. But the future of Thiriyaya is bleak. Traitors within the Sri Lanka's multi-cultural system are applying pressure to get the armed forces out of the area. It won't be a surprise if the dumb Sinhalese politicians allowed that. When that happens, that will be the end of Thiriyaya.

Thiriyaya is accessible on three roads. Of these, Padaviya - Pulmodai road has been left in the hands of the LTTE terrorists who refuse to open the road for the public. Thiriyaya is 40 kilometers from Kumburupitiya on Trincomalee- Nilaveli - Kuchchaveli road. The last 15 kilometers of this road is terrible.

On the third road, Thiriyaya is 25 kilometers from Morawewa on Morawewa - Gomarankadawala road. The 12 kilometers from Gomarandawala is also in a terrible state. Also the makeshift bridge on the Yan Oya, which had been put up by the Army troops using the local resources, is barely passable.

Our thanks again for the Navy troops who look after Thiriyaya and the sole Buddhist monk there under the constant threat from the real racists of Sri Lanka.

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Updated March 24, 2007
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