Media denied access to meeting in Jaffna Public Library

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 09 November 2010, 06:27 GMT]
Sri Lanka Minister Douglas Devananda, Jaffna Mayor Ms. Yogeswary Patkunam and the staff of Jaffna Public Library held a meeting Monday to consider the mode of admitting tourists to visit the library following the incident where unruly Sinhala tourists from South had stormed into the library on 24 October. Media persons were not allowed to cover the meeting but sent away. Douglas Devananda had been accusing local media to have fabricated the said incident adding that the Mayor of Jaffna and the President’s Task Force had categorically stated that no such incident had taken place, sources in Jaffna said. It was decided in the meeting to allow the tourists to visit the library in limited numbers, library employees said. Prof. Pon. Balasutharampillai, former Vice-chancellor of Jaffna University and advisor to Douglas Devananda, too attended the meeting.

Instructed by Major General Mahinda Kathurisinghe, Sri Lanka Army Commander of Jaffna district, soldiers had been posted at the entrance of the library to keep away intruders.

A group of Sinhala visitors from South on 24 October stormed into Jaffna Library while the All Ceylon Medical Association sessions were in progress. The group was from the Sinhala tourists who arrived Saturday in more than 30 buses at the main entrance of Jaffna Public Library. Despite a sign board in three languages – Sinhala, Tamil and English on display that no visitors will be allowed during the usual visiting hours (4:30 p.m to 6:30 p.m) due to the conference, the Sinhala visitors had demanded the security guard and the only unarmed policeman to allow them in, an eyewitness told TamilNet.

Following heated argument the visitors smashed the sign board and overpowered the guard and stormed into the library where the seminar was in progress.

 

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