Jaffna Public Library services decline due to lack of funds

[TamilNet, Saturday, 25 September 2010, 03:15 GMT]
Jaffna Municipal Council (JMC) which has to allocate funds for the administration and maintenance expenses of Jaffna Public Library faces serious impediments in fulfilling its responsibility as Sri Lanka government has failed to support JMC with any considerable allocation of funds. Consequently, JMC administration which depends entirely on local revenues for its expenses has cut down its financial allocation to Jaffna Public Library forcing it to reduce the number of its employees and to close certain sections. Meanwhile, Sri Lanka government and the JMC administration dominated by ruling United People’s Freedom Alliance take false pride in showing Jaffna Public Library as a proof of the ‘development’ claimed to have been achieved by SL government in the North to foreign emissaries and people from other parts of Sri Lanka visiting Jaffna peninsula, Jaffna residents said.

Many of the services of Jaffna Public Library have declined in standard due to the lack of funds needed for its administration and maintenance.

It is feared that Jaffna Public Library may have to cease functioning in the future for want of funds.

Jaffna public library was burnt down in 1981 by the Sri Lankan Police and Sinhala thugs on the eve of the district development council elections. The library, considered as one of the finest in South Asia containing a cultural heritage that comprised around 97,000 priceless books and about 150 centuries' old irreplaceable Tamil manuscripts, lost its entire collection when the original two storied building was destroyed.

Widely regarded by the Tamil community as an act of cultural vandalism, the destruction of Jaffna library by the predominantly Sinhala police has long been a point of resentment.

 

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