It's Been 20 years after LTTE Suicide Bomb Attack to Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic

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Twenty years ago, on January 25th 1998 around 6:30 in the morning, the savage Tamil terrorists attacked the Sri Dalada Maligawa – one of the greatest national cultural treasures of our country. Built originally in the late 15th century, this fabulous architectural marvel is more than 550 years old, In the centuries that followed, additions and improvements were effected to the Maligawa by several kings making it one of the most captivating historic buildings in the country. This magnificent structure enshrines the sacred Tooth Relic of the Buddha which is the most sacred object of worship in the Buddhist world.

It is of utmost symbolic value for Buddhists and the Nation as a whole, because from historic times the possession and custodianship of the Sacred Tooth Relic was tantamount to acquisition of the sovereignty of the nation. It was first brought to Sri Lanka in the fourth century CE and has been treated with utmost veneration by our kings of the past. The possession of the Sacred Tooth Relic was required for a king to be acknowledged as the ruler of the country.


The savagely cruel and violent actions that were characteristic of the Tamil terrorists reached their highest levels with this ghastly event of bombing the one of the most sacred places of veneration of Buddhists across the world. Structures and historic monuments associated with the entrance to the Maligawa were subject to most severe damage.

In addition the blast led to the demolition of a good part of the roof and the exposure of the Maligawa to the open sky. Extensive peeling off of the wall plaster resulted in the destruction of exquisite paintings that adorned these walls besides damage to other priceless artifacts of the Maligawa. Several pilgrims including children who were at the Maligawa died on the spot along with several police personnel providing security at the Maligawa entrance at this time.

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