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Friday, 17 August 2018
Friday, 17 August 2018 | Sri Lanka Watch
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Threats & lawsuits at Swiss Hindu Temple PDF Print E-mail
The largest Hindu Temple in Europe is to be situated in  Trimbach Switzerland. But a power struggle with hard punches have broken out among the Tamil devotees in dispute for the 4-million Swiss franks worth building.

Every Thursday, from spring to autumn, the city Trimbach is firmly in the hands of motorbike riders. They rattle in hundreds with their heavy 2 wheelers from the restaurant Isebähnli to present their heavy machinery. But since resent, Trimbach is also a pilgrimage city for Tamils. Just a stone's throw away from Töff -Mecca spraut the largest Hindu temple in Europe. But the allegations becoming more and more about donation abuse.

Through the years thousands of Tamils have donated amounts between 20 to 20,000 Swiss francs for the Temple building. But they are not getting any information, what happened to their donations.

The Tamils have handed over thousands of Swiss francs in cash to the President of "Association for promoting Tamil culture in Switzerland", who is responsible for the building of the temple. He has not  forwarded the money collections.
For years the association has not held annual general meetings, published annual financial reports. But the President of this association Vasantharajan Ramalingan says "I would reject all allegations as completely unfounded and even vicious." The chef and owner of an Asian shop feel it’s not necessary to have transparency. He says "There is no legal obligation to publish annual accounts and balance sheets of a club." According to him, the financial statements and the donations are properly managed by a trust office. But the question is, why are the Tamils who question the president about their donations they have spent are been prohibited to visit the Temple and even been threatened of facing threat of legal action

Ramalingan have decided these Tamils have “No Entry” to the temple building site because they lead a smear campaign against the association and have very massive threats to his life. The relief organization Caritas, that has been asked to mediate in this matter is keeps out of it. "We turn down any consultancy or acquire any role in the association’s internal conflict," says Caritas spokesman Odilo Noti. The statement shows how irreconcilable the conflict of Tamils are evaluated and how intense the fire blazing under the temple roof  already.

The conflict will escalate to a higher level in the near future. In the mean time temple priest have gone to labor courts in dispute over money and wages paid to them. His case is yet to be heard this month. Critics say that the association  must open the financial books and show what happened to their donations.

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