Jun 05, 2018

'All to be blamed for torching of Jaffna library

Everyone should be held responsible for the burning down of the Jaffna Library which held the best collection of books in the entire South Asian region, said National Reconciliation Minister Mano Ganesan.

The minister termed this incident as, “just one incident” which was perpetrated by a government that the Prime Minister held a ministerial post where ministers, MPs and military personnel had together been instrumental in burning down the Jaffna Library

“One cannot target a single incident and accuse one person as the wrongdoer,”  Mano Ganesan said. 

“We are all guilty of racism, be it green, blue or even red. The Sinhalese and Tamils are both to blame. They have all made mistakes.”

The minister made this comment in Colombo, while in Jaffna, they were mourning the crime committed to the Jaffna Library.

Fr. David

When they had set fire to the Jaffna Library, heartbroken linguistic specialist at the St. Patrick’s College Rev. Fr. Hyacinth Singaraya David had died of a heart attack. During the commemoration ceremony which was held near the portrait of Rev. Fr. David, the Jaffna library staff, the Northern Provincial Council, the Jaffna Municipal Council and the Tamil National People’s Front had also joined at various points.

Addressing the commemoration ceremony, the Jaffna Mayor refered to the incident as the ‘beginning of the Tamil genocide’.

Mayor Emanuel Arnold said, “It is by such constant reminders that the future generations would be able to know about the atrocities committed against the Tamil people. It is important to remember these incidents in fighting for our rights”.However, Minister Mano Ganesan said in Colombo that we are in the process of ‘correcting the wrongs committed in the past’.

Siril and Gamini

The terrible and irreparable destruction caused to the Jaffna Library not only destroyed Tamil, Sinhala and English books but historically significant books on culture, Dutch and Latin books and historic manuscripts, including over 95,000 publications were destroyed. This incident took place when former Ministers Cyril Mathew and Gamini Dissanayake were in Jaffna on election propaganda activities.

The incident which destroyed the most valuable asset in Jaffna, the Library was ignited when three police officers were gunned down at a rally of the Tamil United Liberation Front, which was the main Tamil opposition party at the time. The UNP supporters who had gone there from the South, together with the security forces had launched a major destructive campaign over three days.

These atrocities were committed while curfew was enforced and the UNP ministers and MPs were staying at a rest house close to the Jaffna library.

The Eelanadu newspaper office, Tamil United Liberation Front office, a Hindu Kovil and hundreds of shops and houses were destroyed by the security forces and thugs who went there from the South.

Yet to date, no one who was connected with these atrocities have been brought before the law.

(Source : Radiogagana)