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British commentator questions suitability of English cricket tour to Sri Lanka

[TamilNet, Friday, 17 June 2011 13:26 One Comment]

Mike-Atherton1 Following the airing of Channel-4 documentary “Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields,” Mike Atherton, cricket correspondent for UK’s The Times, compares Sri Lanka’s President Mahinda Rajapakse’s regime to that of Robert Mugabe’s in Zimbabwe and questions the suitability of England’s tour to Sri Lanka, scheduled for this winter.

Full text of Atherton’s comment in The Times follows:

Tamils’ plight must prick English consciences

Throughout Sri Lanka’s tour to England, a small and dedicated band of Tamil protesters have done their best to raise awareness of the persecution that members of this minority have suffered and continue to suffer in their homeland.

They were at the Sri Lankans’ opening match, at Uxbridge, and at the npower Test matches at Cardiff and Lord’s. By and large, it is a voice that has been ignored.

Channel 4’s distressing documentary on Tuesday evening that highlighted the systematic killing, torture and sexual abuse of Tamil prisoners of war and civilians during the past couple of years of the civil war, and that showed images that were more shocking than anything seen on television since the Ethiopian food shortages, should change all that.

Increasingly, the United Nations’ inaction on the evidence of war crimes looks inexcusable. If that continues, it is likely that questions will be asked about the suitability of England’s tour to Sri Lanka, scheduled for this winter.

After all, there seems little to differentiate President Rajapaksa’s brutal regime from that of Robert Mugabe’s in Zimbabwe, about whom English consciences were severely pricked.


TamilNet: 17.06.11 British commentator questions suitability of English cricket tour to Sri Lanka

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One Comment »

  • Nadarajah Balasubramaniam said:

    Dear Mike Atherton,
    You are a gentleman. I am 69 years old and have been a follower and supporter of British cricket. I happily remember the great cricketers Fredie Trueman, Late Brain Statham , Colin Cowdrey, not forgetting Laker and Lock. I very well remember you as a good opening batsman and decent Captain. You are a good journalist now.
    Once there was an accusation that you handled the ball in a fowl way and I can remember feeling sorry for you.
    Now you have done this bit. British government has hand full of Tamil blood. The politicians are wrong. MP Keith Waz was introduced to Tamils and they are misleading some of the selfish Tamils.
    Tamils have to speak not to the politicians but gentleman like you, among the common people. Ch 4 advertisement showed the blue Sri Lanka sea red. It is true and brilliant. LTTE are great freedom fighters,fought with both feet on their homeland, but became victims of foul Sri Lanka governments propaganda. LTTE never did any bombing targeting civilians. If they did they could have played havoc in cricket matches. They were listening and watching and enjoying good cricket.
    There was no ceasefire and hence Tamils are not for any reconciliation. What happened and has been happening for the last thirty five years is Genocide. Genocide will lead only to separation. I can imagine Eelam team for the start playing cricket against Island!