Monday 29 August 2022


29 August 2022

Gajalakshmi Paramasivam



The business mind says that time is money. If true, the reverse also must hold good. In other words, money is the visible form of time. Hence, in confidential aspects of a relationship, time spent together is confirmation of ownership. Place is confirmation of long term ownership – as in heritage. Where a place of heritage is visibly destroyed / damaged, it becomes the ‘spirit’ that naturally connects the minds that believed in it. The spirit/Energy then is nuclear power. Hence heritages are ‘protected’.

Yesterday’s Island editorial headed ‘Asking for big trouble’ at  , introduces the subject matter as follows:


[The recent big news was the government’s decision to allow the State of Emergency it had declared to lapse and thereafter revert to the much derided Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) to deal with some Aragalaya frontliners belonging to the Inter University Students Federation. This organization is affiliated to Kumar Gunaratnam’s Front Line Socialist Party (FSLP) which broke away from the JVP but is now engaging in a fence mending exercise. We have said in this space before that the Aragalaya was widely labeled, both locally and internationally as a “peaceful protest.” That it initially was and there is no dispute whatever about that. But at the latter stages when barricades were stormed in the face of teargas and water cannons, it ceased to be peaceful. Unarmed yes, but peaceful no. Images beamed by both national and global television vividly captured the battering ram-style charges on barricades by young protesters including some yellow robed Buddhist monks. There was a sprinkling of women too present.]

In essence, according to the Island, the question seems to be whether PTA was necessary?

The following is included about the protestors:

[The attackers, confident in the knowledge that no live bullets would be fired, eventually succeeded in breaching the barriers and occupying President’s House, the Presidential Secretariat and Temple Trees. Then Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s private home on Fifth Lane, Kollupitiya, was also torched burning down a property he had planned to bequeath to Royal College, his alma mater. His library and valued personal possessions were burnt to cinders. Nobody has accused the protesters of being responsible for that despicable act of arson.]

The missing ingredient is the mind of the Politician who carries the karma of his party, in a parallel experience.


This is the burning of the Jaffna Library on 01 June 1981. We need the background structure to be conscious of this Karma as already existing  precondition.


1.    Wikipedia presents the origin of the Jaffna Library as follows:

[The library was built in many stages starting from 1933, from a modest beginning as a private collection. Soon, with the help of primarily local citizens, it became a full-fledged library. The library also became a repository of archival material written in palm leaf manuscripts, original copies of regionally important historic documents in the contested political history of Sri Lanka and newspapers that were published hundreds of years ago in the Jaffna peninsula. It thus became a place of historic and symbolic importance to all Sri Lankans]

The torching is presented as follows:

[On the night of June 1, according to many eyewitnesses, police and government-sponsored paramilitias set fire to the Jaffna public library and destroyed it completely. Over 97,000 volumes of books along with numerous culturally important and irreplaceable manuscripts were destroyed.[7] Among the destroyed items were scrolls of historical value and the works and manuscripts of philosopher, artist and author Ananda Coomaraswamy and prominent intellectual Prof. Isaac Thambiah. The destroyed articles included memoirs and works of writers and dramatists who made a significant contribution toward the sustenance of the Tamil culture, and those of locally reputed physicians and politicians]




2.    In her article THE JAFFNA PUBLIC LIBRARY Part 1 at

Publisher Kamalika Pieris reveals as follows:

[The second incident was in 1979 when Piyasena, as a member of Kelaniya University Board was on the interview panel to select lecturers. One young candidate, a Buddhist monk, produced copies of some important Sanskrit documents used for his research. Examining them, Prof Jayawickrema of Kelaniya University, asked how he came across those documents. The monk said he obtained one of the documents through a friend from Sorbonne University in France and the others were copied from the original volumes available at the Jaffna Library.

I am satisfied that Jaffna Library’ means Jaffna Public Library and not Jaffna College library. I assume that Piyasena is speaking of two separate bhikkus and two separate sets of documents. If not, Piyasena would have said so. However, it is surprising to hear that a rare Mahayana manuscript was found in Jaffna Public library. It is not surprising to hear that no one knew about it]



3.    Media

The Wikipedia report confirms the National attitude in relation to the burning of the library follows:

[The national newspapers did not report the incident. ]



4.    Political GainsAccording to Wikipedia


4.1           Mr. W.J.M. Lokubandara

In subsequent parliamentary debates some majority Sinhalese members told minority Tamil politicians that if Tamils were unhappy in Sri Lanka, they should leave for their 'homeland' in India. A direct quote from a United National Party member is

If there is discrimination in this land which is not their (Tamil) homeland, then why try to stay here. Why not go back home (India) where there would be no discrimination. There are your kovils and Gods. There you have your culture, education, universities, etc. There you are masters of your own fate

Mr. W.J.M. LokubandaraMP in Sri Lanka's Parliament, July 1981.]


The above MP was, at that time, in UNP headed by President J R Jayawardene .


The following strongly indicates the attachment to Sinhalese and hence the urge to eliminate Tamil competition:

[Several books have been authored by Lokubandara, including some on Sigiriya. He was also a poet and a songwriter. His works include: During his tenure as the Minister of Culture, he directed the reprinting of Sinhala literary works including: SubhashithayaLokopakarayaAmawathuraWadan Kavi and Sakaskadaya. Then he published Dr. Senarath Paranavithana's book on 'Sigiriya Gee' in English at the Oxford Press. Meanwhile, he published a series of books on the great leaders who emerged in Sri Lanka. He was very fond of the Sinhala language where Lokubandara socialized words such as herbal tea and kola keda which are commonly used in conversations. He also had a knowledge of Pali and Sanskrit terms. ……]

Lokubandara died on 14 February 2021 at the age of 79 while being treated for COVID-19 during the COVID-19 pandemic in Sri Lanka at the Infectious Disease Hospital in Angoda becoming the first high profile Sri Lankan politician to succumb to COVID-19]

The place of death is significant in that Angoda is known to be a hospital for the mentally ill. As per Hindu belief, if ancestors are disrespected, despite warnings from elders, the person who does so for current benefit becomes mentally deranged .



4.2     Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa

In 2006 the President of Sri Lanka Mahinda Rajapakse was quoted as saying,

The UNP is responsible for mass-scale riots and massacres against the Tamils in 1983, vote-rigging in the Northern Development Council elections and [the] burning of the Jaffna library

He was also further quoted as saying in reference to a prominent local Tamil poet, reminding the audience that

Burning the Library sacred to the people of Jaffna was similar to shooting down Lord Buddha

He concluded in that speech that as a cumulative effect of all these atrocities, the peaceful voice of the Tamils is now drowned in the echo of the gun; referring to the rebel LTTE's terrorism.]

To the extent Mr Rajapaksa used that measure to find fault with the Opposition, using Buddhism and did so without belief – the return came to him as loss with cumulative interest.




4.3     Ranil Wickremesinghe

[In 2016, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe as the leader of the United National Party apologized for the burning of the Library which happened during a UNP government. ]

Government investigation

According to Orville H. Schell, Chairman of the Americas Watch Committee, and Head of Amnesty International's 1982 fact-finding mission to Sri Lanka, the UNP government at that time did not institute an independent investigation to establish responsibility for these killings in May and June 1981 and take measures against those responsible. No one has been indicted for the crimes yet.

This karma explains why according to President Wickremesinghe, PTA was necessary to protect Politicians who did not believe in lesser laws. When a government uses a particular law to find fault with the Opposition, for political gain, it automatically is bound by the same measure for similar wrongs. The wrong in this instance was Mr Wickremesinghe’s own library – meant for his Alma Mater - Royal College. This meant that the library was a heritage burned by Sinhalese.

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