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Minister Ranawaka Apologizes For Jaffna Library Burning

Jun 21, 2010 11:38:25 PM - thesundayleader.lk

Minister Champika Ranawaka addresses the gathering in Jaffna

Power and Energy Minister and recently elected Secretary to the Jathika Hela Urumaya, Patali Champika Ranawaka, yesterday apologised to the Tamil community in Jaffna, for the1981 burning of the Jaffna Public Library.

The move is seen as particularly touching, seeing as the Minister who is a member of a Sinhala nationalist party, led by Buddhist monks, seemed to extending the olive branch to Jaffna’s Tamil community.

The Jaffna Public Library; a place of symbolic significance to the Tamil minority of North, was established in 1933 and at the time of its burning in May-June 1981 by organised mobs, was one of the biggest libraries in Asia, containing over 97, 000 books and manuscripts.

Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka had donated a number of book to to the Jaffna Libraray last morning, where he had, at the press conference held on behalf of the event, made public apology to the Jaffna Tamils for the destruction of the library.