Buddhist temple set on fire in Ontario

May 17, 2009 at 12:53 AM
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SCARBOROUGH, Ontario, May 17 (UPI) -- A fire at a Buddhist temple in Canada may have been set Saturday morning by someone angry at the defeat of the Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka, the monks said.

The blaze near an emergency exit to the temple in Scarborough was reported around 4:30 a.m., fire officials said. James Gillespie, a fire investigator, said that two bottles found in the area were being tested to determine whether they held an accelerant.

The monk, Nalaka, told The Toronto Star that he and the other monks at the temple have received threats in recent days as the Sri Lankan Army cornered the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. In Sri Lanka, Tamils are a Hindu minority in a Buddhist-majority country.

"Every single Sinhalese person is Toronto is calling each other right now," a member of the temple told the Star. "It's very alarming."

Bundula Jayasekara, the Sri Lankan consul in Toronto, joined other Sri Lankans outside the temple.

"There is a mafia," Jayasekara said. "People don't feel safe here and this is a G8 country."

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