Temporary Jaffna library opened

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 14 January 1998, 23:59 GMT]
The temporary Jaffna Public Library was opened this noon by Sri Lanka's media minister Mr.Mangala Samaraweera under very heavy multi-layered security.

Persons invited for the function were checked at several points.

J A F F N A L I B R A R Y


jaffna_lib_1.jpg

The original Jaffna library was torched by Sri Lankan police in 1981. At the time it held the best collection of Tamil literature in Asia, including many ireplaceable manuscripts.

Widely regarded by the Tamil community as an act of cultural vandalism, the destruction of Jaffna library by the predominantly Sinhalese police has long been a point of resentment.

The PA government is attmepting to win Jaffna residents' hearts and minds by rebuilding the library. However, it is the loss of the literature within the building that is felt most here.



PLOTE's Mayoral candidate for the Jaffna municipality Manikkam Daasan, who is also the group's military wing leader, who was one of the people officially invited by the army for the function turned back at the entrance in protest over the checking procedure.

He objected to being searched at the second check point at the entrance of the venue and turned back.

Sources said that army check points were set up at every 25 yards on the way to the venue of the Library opening.

Minister for Education and Higher education Richard Pathirana and deputy minister for social services B. Premalal Dissanayaka accompanied the Media minister to Jaffna today.

The education minister took part in a function to distribute free school books to children in the town.


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