Genocide the Tamil people in Srilanka

Saturday, November 6, 2010

If Zimbabwe, why not Sri Lanka?

(Dr Sam Pari was a panellist at the International Peace Research Association Conference 2010. She is the spokesperson of the Australian Tamil Congress.) As Aussie cricket fans, myself included, plan to gather today in pubs and in front of television screens to cheer for green and gold, I can’t help but cringe at the team we are cheering against. Every time the Sri Lankans hit a six we ‘boo’ in unison, but is there more that we should be ‘boo’-ing about? Even still should we be playing cricket with a country accused of war crimes? Some may argue that one should not mix sports with politics. However, that is only a convenient bypass considering only a few years ago we boycotted a cricket tour of Zimbabwe, and our former foreign minister Alexander Downer even called for Zimbabwe to be banned from the International Cricket Council. So I ask: If Zimbabwe, why not Sri Lanka? In fact, for Sri Lanka, sports and politics seems to be very much intertwined - retired cricket captains, Sanath Jayasuriya and Arjuna Ranatunga have entered politics; Ajantha Mendis is in the Sri Lankan Armed Forces. Ranked 133 out of 149 (which is lower than Burma) in the 2010 Global Peace Index, Sri Lanka’s human rights record is nothing to admire.


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