Burning of the Jaffna Library is a wrong deed. We are apologizing for that, said Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe in Parliament.
He was speaking during the Budget Debate yesterday, when he said this.
I am sad that the Jaffna Library was burnt down in 1981. I know this is a wrong deed. The UNP apologize for that. Likewise, the Joint Opposition also should apologize for the mistakes they have done during their regime, he said.
It is notable that the burning of the library is considered as a symbol of all oppression carried out on the Tamil people. It was a leading library in South East Asia and some books that were available were not found in any other library in the world.
Several books that were available in several places and with individuals , especially the several centuries old ola- manuscripts and the original copies of several news papers published in the 1800s were housed in this Library.
The first building was opened in 1959 and was razed to the ground on one single day, 1981.05.31 to be precise, shocking not only the Tamil people but also the whole world. The mob who did this atrocity included the then UNP Minister, Late Gamini Dissanayake.
The Jaffna Library was built up from 1933. Beginning as a private collection, it gained the support of the Local population ad rose to its glory housing more than 97,000 volumes.