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Last updated: 02 February, 2007 - Published 17:28 GMT
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Fire at Kandy public library
Temple of Tooth Relic
Kandy is widely known as the home of the Temple of the Tooth Relic
A fire erupted at the premises of ancient Kandy library was brought under control within an hour, journalists say.

Lakhanda journalist S Liyanage told BBC Sandeshaya that the main building of the library was destroyed with hundreds of books.

The fire brigade, who arrived in the scene about half an hour later, has stopped the fire spreading to other buildings.

The DS Senanayake library which has huge and valuable collection of books and manuscripts is one of the leading public libraries in Sri Lanka.

Many books were destroyed but the reference library, where manuscripts and other valuable books are stored, was saved as the fire did not reach other buildings.

The reason for the fire was not known.

Sri Lanka earlier lost the Jaffna library, which had a biggest collection of books and manuscripts.

Jaffna library was considered one of the largest libraries in Asia.

Readers comments:

This forum is now closed. Thank you for the comments.

The Fire that destroyed the DS Senanayake Library is a tragedy but the deleberate distruction of the Jaffna Library by the Sri lankan Govt.considered the largest in South East Asia is a crime against mankind.
Doulas Tisseverasinghe, Toronto, Canada

The factor is known to every one .it was due to a curtain got fire from a lamp . IT took more than two hours to stop it . Apperantly fire men had no water in their vehicles when they reach the scene . apart from that the fire brigade was next door to the library !
Ajith Rajapakse, Kandy

It is cristal clear what is BBC's hidden agenda behind this topic. Is this the dying question in Sri Lanka now? If LTTE terrorists did not start this war there was nothing to lose in Jaffna.
Appuhamy, Singapore

It is shame again. Why you change your news article after the sever critisisum of personnel all over thw world. What happedned to your earlier article and its last paragraphs? Is this the way BBC conduct true and fair media for the world? Shame to you all at BBC sinhala service. You are like BCC soap factory at Colombo sri lanka.
Niranjan Skandarasa, Sri Lanka

Out of all the things happening in Sri Lanka, news item picked for readers comments by the BBC (Sinhala)! Great journalism!
Damitha Adhikari, Guildford, UK

Sadly, libraries proud part of Tamil life, also give us gread sadness. When people are talking about libraries, I am always reminded about the Polikandy Library at the border of Valvettiturai, that was blasted by soldiers with some 25-30 innocent Tamil youth in it, on May 9, 1985. Remember the date? Five days before the Anuradhapura massacre. Nor do I forget the Heartley College library, that was burnt by the police. Obviously they have no regard for libraries, be it in the northeast or otherwise.
Bahirathan, Toronto, Canada

Most of the kandy people dont know the importence of a librery. selfish people grasp what they can get from the librery and destroys it with out leaving it to the next generation. that is the nature of these people.
Senaka Abeysinghe, Kandy

Jaffna library & Kandy library are our own valiubles save for future genaration. If someone responsible for the fire it is disgusting.
Pemachandra Rathnayake, Dubai

Thank you GC Chantana for clarifying the truth. Hats off for you. How come a service like BBC could be bias on reporting a news? What a shame?
Bala Muttiah, Toronto, Canada

The Kandy fire brigade is just seperated by a wall and I wonder why it took them half an hour to reach there. Probably the officers were not there.
Dr. Kamal N naser, Coventry, UK

I was there when jaffna Library was delbrately burnt by the Sri Lankan armed forces. In fact At that time I was 19 and also I was in side the Library but couldn't do anything because the armed personel was located at Durapayiah stadium nearby watching the Librarary in fire.
CE Anandarajan, Toronto, Canada

There is no conncection with jaffna library and kandy library. It is an accident and I just can't understand why BBC sinhala service is woried about things like this? This clearly indicated the motivation of BBC sinhala service by the comment made by Selvadorai, scarbrough, canada. This is what the BBC sinhala service and its so called sinhala staff need. The writer must have forgotten that the jaffana library re-built again but without some valuable books.
Niranjan Skandarasa, Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka did not lose Jaffna Library. It was set ablaze by thugs led by western educated political elites as it stood for the epitome of tamil intellect. I only hope what happened in Kandy is not deliberate and nothing valuable has been lost. Hats off to the officials for their timely action to save the invaluable assets. In only hope southern masses take time to reflect on the deliberate burning of the Jaffna Library nearly 26 years ago. The scar that was left is just too deep for some of us.
Rajan, Sydney, Australia

Those who destroy libraries, schools, temples, statues could be branded as Cultural Terrorists. Cultural Terrorism was started during colonial rule in Sri lanka and the Sri lankan government followed the colonial footsteps after independence.
Pon Lulendiren, Mississauga, Canada

I think last Sentences totally not appropriate for this article and editor is trying to set a fire elsewhere cheap journalism.
Nalin Perera, Aalborg, Denmark

Here are the facts:The srilankan government burnt the tamil library during its sinhala military occupation of jaffna.For the tamils it is a long list of genocidal actions against them by the sinhalese army.
Ian Weden, Belgium

Its a catastrophe that a library is burnt. Be it Jaffna or Kandy. True that the former was a cold blooded act which further ignited the anger towards the Sinhalese among the tamil. Although non intentionally, it pushed the pendulum in favour of the tamil facist forces i.e. LTTE to get a sympathy vote from the rest of the world. It is sad that the ordinary tamils that suffer as the LTTE does not have any intellectuals in their ranks. One more important thing to note is that the anti sinhala nature of the BBC. What are you going to gain by telling about the Jaffna Library now? I am sure the ordinary sinhalese still regret the loss and most of the rebuilding was done from the aid collected from the southern masses.
NP, China

We have too many problems to think about the severity of this case. Just to name few a group of terrorist killing it's own community much more than by others. It's supporters who shout so that it looks much more bigger. Human life is more important than anything else. This is not to say the fire which happened is negligible but to say most of the western countries does not understand the real issue we have in the country.
Chin, Melbourne, Australia

If this fire was set by somebody deliberately it is a barbaric act. This is a typical example how a Sinhala media reports an incidents covering up their side mistakes as nothing happened. Sri Lanka will have peace only when the Sinhala media publish the truth.
Wije Kulathugam, Toronto, Canada

Its sad news to hear that fire erupted in the D.S.S. library as a person who lived in Kandy and used the library for many years. This incident has highlighted that a need of assessment of existing risk in a place, work towards the minimising the risk as well as making risk preparedness plan. This is very important whether its a library, cultural asset, historic monument etc.
Saman de Silva, UK

"Jaffna library was not lost" as mentioned in your news. It was deliberately set on fire by the Sri Lankan Government. Jaffna Library was not the last one to be destroyed by the Sinhala government, several libraries and science labs belonging to leading schools in Jaffna were deleberately destroyed by the security forces.
Selvadorai, scarborough, Canada

the destruction caused by the fire is a tragedyand there is no arguement about that. but the end portion of your news is what make me sad. it shows that we even not ready to accept our mistakes. when we are not ready to accept it there won't be a way to rectify it. usually you end the news with very clear elbroation of past incidents. but i'm wondering how you forgot to mention that the jaffna library was set fire by sinhalese mobs with the supervison of the ministers of the government at that time. it's a same crime against mankind yet alone tamil people. but the fact that our very own sinhalese people did it, is a true and it would haunt us for centeries. i am not sure you would post this comment. but i think at least you would know what kind of mistakes our own people are doing and how you are helping to hide those crimes.
GC Chanthana, London

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