• The Project
  • The Conception
  • The History
  • The Rise from Ashes

The brothers have planned to put to use their vocal talent and work together towards the benefit of ‘Knowledge’ by contributing to the Jaffna Library through the restoration of what they have lost by way of books and help regain the ‘Glory of the Past’  of that fateful night. However, it must be stressed that no one will be able replace its original and precious contents.’ Knowledge through Music’ will launch a series of programs with friends and partners locally and internationally to collect books for ‘Jaffna’. It will commence with a Dinner concert in Sri Lanka where ‘entrance’ will be permitted by way of a ‘book‘. Later, this project will flow into an island-wide campaign with the help of organizations such as Rotary, to help and organize the collection here in Sri Lanka.

The culmination of this project is being discussed with the hope of having the entire program aired on television through both local and international media on the 31st of May 2011. Incidentally, this date marks 30th anniversary of the burning down of the Library, and they would like to pay tribute by announcing a record number of books at the culmination of this project, in honour of the Jaffna Library and its people. .

The target is to achieve - 97,000 books the number of books destroyed at the time of burning the library. Duplication of books will arise and it will be dealt with by sending them to other libraries around the country, endorsing the highest Literacy Rate recorded in south Asia with 92%.

A 'House of knowledge' was initiated and nurtured within the walls of Mr. K.M. Chellappa's home, when he warmly opened his doors to welcomed all who went in search of knowledge through books.. Before long, these numbers rapidly increased and this thirst for those who went in search for more eventually was to take shape in the form of the Jaffna Library.

Way back in 1933, the library was built in various stages. The establishment of this institution began with a modest private collection, that soon swelled in numbers largely due to the support and contribution made through the people of Jaffna; it helped to declare this 'House of Knowledge as a 'Fully Fledged Library' the North was soon to take pride in owning.

Collections started accumulating and records were maintained within these walls with a deep sense of pride, which soon became a 'Repository of Manuscripts'. An archive of information written on 'Ola or palm leaf, was sheltered here, on which many learned men have scribed upon, leaving a legacy of knowledge within those inscriptions. These treasures were housed in this library where the people of Jaffna prided themselves in being the custodians' who possessed authentic material of regional importance, all of which were recorded and valued during the changing faces of our historical eras here in Sri Lanka, in addition to the newspapers that were published hundreds of years ago within the Jaffna peninsula.

A crushing blow was dealt to this majestic "House of Knowledge' when an organized mob went on a rampage on the night of May 31, 1981, burning down the Jaffna Public Library. The burning of the library was a sad but significant event during the civil conflict in Sri Lanka which lasted 23 years. .. It was one of the most violent examples of 'Biblioclasm' recorded during the twentieth century. At the time of its destruction, the Library was one of the largest in Asia, containing over 97,000 different books and manuscripts which was a testimony to knowledge.

In 1998, the ruling political party commenced restoration work through contributions by Sri Lankans, Foreign Organizations both Government and None-Government as well as those individuals and groups supporting the cause. By 2001 the replacement building was complete and reopened in 2003. Approximately US $1 million dollars was spent and over 25,000 books were collected in order to replace SOME of what was lost.

The unification of Rohan De Lanerolle and Ishan De Lanerolle has marked an important milestone in the country's entertainment industry. The De Lanerolle brothers since being launched on 3rd March 2010 in Sri Lanka at a 'sold out' Dinner concert have toured Geneva and Austria singing to selected crowds from 500 to 2,500 in numbers. Famed for their prowess in the music industry the twobrother have teamed up to mesmerize audiences in Sri Lanka and overseas.

Media spotlights fell upon Rohan in 1993 caught on camera singing the solo version of 'Good King Wenceslas' at St. Thomas'College Mount Lavinia the 'Alma mater' he owes much to. He has graced concert halls throughout the world since which include the 'Weill Recital Hall' at Carnegie Hall - New York, The 'Altadena Open Air Theatre' in Los Angeles, The 'Sheldonian Theatre' Oxford, The 'Adrian Boult Hall', Birmingham, The 'Bentley Music Auditorium' in Malaysia and many other performances in Australia, Maldives, Singapore and more recently in Europe. Rohan has now teamed up with younger brother and 'Bass' singer Ishan to set the stage ablaze with their renditions, never failing to capture the attention and thrill audiences who keep coming back for more.