Burning of Jaffna library

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the Jaffna Library after the last opening in 2003

The burning of the Jaffna 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 31 May 1981. A group of Sinhalese burned the library that was one of the important libraries in Sri Lanka and one of the biggest in Asia. The event was one of the worst book burning events in the 20th century.

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

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