Facebook icon
Twitter icon
e-mail icon

Ancient Tamil manuscripts to be restored through US grant

Photograph: US Embassy Colombo

The United States announced it will fund the restoration of ancient Tamil manuscripts in Jaffna on Sunday.

The announcement was made as part of US Ambassador Samantha Power’s visit to the North, where she told Jaffna Library staff “we plan to partner with you as you seek to complete the task of preserving what you have”.

After a welcome from a traditional Tamil inniyam band, the ambassador met with staff members, signed the library guestbook and viewed some of the 1000-year old palmyrah manuscripts that have survived to this day.

The library lost over 95,000 unique and irreplaceable Tamil palm leaves (ola), manuscripts, parchments, books, magazines and newspapers, after it was set ablaze by Sri Lankan state security forces and state sponsored mobs in 1981.

The ancient manuscripts give the next generation a “window to the past,” said the ambassador, adding she was “proud to announce [the] US grant”.

A reported 1.5 million rupees will be made available to help restore the manuscripts housed at the library.

Photograph: US Embassy Colombo

See our earlier post: Jaffna Library burns - May 31st 1981 (01 June 2015)

We need your support

Sri Lanka is one of the most dangerous places in the world to be a journalist. Tamil journalists are particularly at threat, with at least 41 media workers known to have been killed by the Sri Lankan state or its paramilitaries during and after the armed conflict.

Despite the risks, our team on the ground remain committed to providing detailed and accurate reporting of developments in the Tamil homeland, across the island and around the world, as well as providing expert analysis and insight from the Tamil point of view

We need your support in keeping our journalism going. Support our work today.

For more ways to donate visit https://donate.tamilguardian.com.