Sydney: Cricket Australia (CA) and the government must consider a ban on future fixtures against Sri Lanka due to the atrocities committed by it’s government on minority Tamil population in the county, according to former cricket writer Trevor Grant, who now works with the Refugee Action Collective.
Sri Lanka is touring Australia currently and the first Test match of the series will start on December 13 at Hobart, but Grant believes a stern message should be sent to the Lankan government against the carnage they committed on the Tamils.
“It is now time for Australian consciences to be pricked, as the Sri Lankan cricketers prepare for star billing against Australia in three Tests this summer, in Hobart, Melbourne and Sydney,” Grant wrote in his column for the Age.
“Sri Lanka is a team that packs a punch these days. But what will be forgotten in the excitement is the dark side to this team. It`s not so much the individual players but, what and who, they really represent,” he added.
“In other words, the rich and powerful in the Sri Lankan nation and an elected government that is alleged to be engaging in genocide against the poorest of its own people, many of whom are seeking refuge here,” he wrote.
“Brutal oppressors (The Sri Lankan President) love to use sport to launder their image. But Rajapaksa can`t fool anybody who reads about world affairs,” he wrote.
“The President and his military have been under pressure since a UN-commissioned report said there was evidence that the government, and the Tamil Tigers, committed war crimes at the end of the war in 2009 and recommended an investigation,” he added.
“Cricket Australia and the Australian government cannot keep avoiding this issue. They must seriously consider a ban on future fixtures against Sri Lanka,” he further wrote.
“As protests and calls for a boycott continue this summer, the message to the Sri Lankan government, via its cricket team, is the same one used against apartheid South Africa 40 years ago. There can be no normal sport in an abnormal society,” he concluded.