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Champika Ranawaka apologizes in Jaffna for 1981 arson attack on Jaffna library

Jun 22, 2010 12:38:34 PM- transcurrents.com

By N. Parameswaran

The Jathika Hela Urumaya yesterday apologized to the Jaffna citizens for what it called an ‘unpardonable and disgraceful’ attack on the Jaffna library carried out by ‘violent elements within the UNP’.

JHU General Secretary and Power and Energy Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka made the apology when Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) leaders visited the Jaffna Public Library to handover books worth more than Rs.two million donated by well wishers to Ven. Maharagama Mahinda Thera.

“It is unfortunate that the attack came from identified UNP elements belonging to our community. The attack was launched by a handful of people and the Sinhala community as a whole did not condone it. Many openly condemned it. Similarly the LTTE went on the rampage against the Sinhala people and launched attacks on the Sri Maha Bodhi and the Dalada Maligawa. Such attacks were not condoned by the average Tamil citizens,” Mr. Ranawaka said. “We are committed to preserving Buddhism in this country and this means we cannot harm those belonging to other communities. There is space for everybody to co-exist,” Mr. Ranawaka said.

JHU leader Ven. Omalpe Sobhitha Thera addressing the gathering said the presentation of books was made as a token of brotherhood and with a great sense of solidarity.

“We hope that the children and adults in Jaffna would benefit from this exercise and join us in our efforts to go for greater integration as one nation” the JHU leader said.

Minister Douglas Devananda who participated at the ceremony said the Jaffna people had been prejudiced against the party due to a barrier in communication and added that with the book donation by the JHU a new chapter would help foster inter-community relations. COURTESY:DAILY MIRROR


Australia's Dateline reports on Jaffna Library:

Aired in May 2009