Unruly Sinhala tourists storm into Jaffna Public Library

[TamilNet, Sunday, 24 October 2010, 05:00 GMT]
A group of Sinhala visitors from South on Saturday stormed into Jaffna Library while the All Ceylon Medical Association sessions were in progress. The group was from the Sinhala tourists who arrived Saturday in more than 30 buses at the main entrance of Jaffna Public Library. Despite a sign board in three languages – Sinhala, Tamil and English on display that no visitors will be allowed during the usual visiting hours (4:30 p.m to 6:30 p.m) due to the conference, the Sinhala visitors had demanded the security guard and the only unarmed policeman to allow them in, an eyewitness told TamilNet. Following heated argument the visitors smashed the sign board and overpowered the guard and stormed into the library where the seminar was in progress. The seminar which began Friday is to continue until Sunday.

Meanwhile, the policeman had alerted the Jaffna police station. The Headquarters Inspector arrived on the scene, but was threatened by a member of the group claiming he was from the Presidential Secretariat.

The Inspector was forced to withdraw from the scene.

Later Jaffna Town Commander and Civil Affairs Co-ordinator, Major Bandara arrived at the scene. He too failed in his attempt to control the crowd.

The visitors who stormed into the library had torn some of the Tamil newspapers displaying photographs of Tamil politicians.

Besides, they threw into disorder the books in the Library shelves which were systematically arranged according to standard procedure.

The mob spent nearly three hours inside the Library, defying rules of the libray.

The eyewitnesses told TamilNet that there was a heated argument between one of the persons who stormed in with an employee of the Library.

He had told the employee that, “We are free to visit any part of the country and any place. There is no military rule in this country”.

The employee had replied that the North and East are still under military rule.

 

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