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Burning of Jaffna library facts for kids

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Burning of Jaffna library
Burnt shell of the library
Location Jaffna, Sri Lanka
Date June 1, 1981 (+6 GMT)
Target Primarily Sri Lankan Tamil
Attack type
Burning, shooting
Weapons Fire, Guns
Deaths 4
Non-fatal injuries
Perpetrators UNP pro Sinhalese mob gang

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.

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

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

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