[ SBS ]
This week Dateline invites you inside Jaffna’s public library, a building with a tortured history that echoes Sri Lanka’s long civil conflict. The library was once one of the largest in Asia and a source of enormous pride for the Tamil community. But the building was torched in 1981, during riots following the shooting of three Sinhalese police at a Tamil political rally. As result, almost 100,000 books were destroyed, including irreplaceable manuscripts written on palm leaves. A treasure trove of Tamil culture and history was lost forever. Almost 20 years later, the library was fully rebuilt by the government.