Burning of Jaffna Public Library

1981 event during the Sri Lankan civil war

The burning of the Jaffna Public Library (Tamil: யாழ் பொது நூலகம் எரிப்பு) was an attack at the central library in the city of Jaffna, Sri Lanka. It was one of the events that led up to the Sri Lankan Civil War. The first attack on the library building was on 1 June 1981. A group of Sinhalese rioters burned the library that was one of the important libraries in Sri Lanka and one of the biggest in Asia.

the Jaffna Library after the last opening in 2003

This was one of the most violent examples of ethnic-based book burnings of the 20th century.Term[›][1] At the time of its destruction, the library was one of the biggest in Asia, containing over 97,000 books and manuscripts.[2][3]

In 1984 the library was repaired. However, the civil war had begun the previous year. The building was burned several times during the years of fighting, until 1998 when the president tried to make peace between the Sinhalese and Tamil sides. In 2003 the rebuilt library reopened again.

References change

  1. "Destroying a symbol" (PDF). IFLA. Retrieved February 14, 2007.
  2. "Fire at Kandy public library". BBC. Retrieved March 14, 2006.
  3. Wilson, A.J. Sri Lankan Tamil Nationalism: Its Origins and Development in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, p.125

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