The Boycott Sri Lanka Cricket Campaign (BSLCC) spokesperson, Trevor Grant, a veteran sports journalist, in a statement issued on Monday said that the Australian protests against the Sri Lankan Government, via the cricket team, had been so successful that it was planned to link up with protest groups in all cricket-playing nations to ensure that the message about Tamil persecution was heard throughout the world. “We are taking as our model the very successful sports boycotts of apartheid South Africa in the 1970s and 1980s,” the statement further said.
“ We are having discussions with protest groups in the UK about organising further rallies against the cricket team when it travels to England for the ICC Champions Trophy this northern summer,” the statement said adding that the BSLCC was scheduled to hold a rally against the team at the MCG on Monday.
“ There is a lot of renewed energy about exposing the war crimes and persecution of Tamils by the Sri Lankan Government, which uses the cricket team to launder its image. People aren’t willing to remain silent any longer,” the statement further said.
BSLCC, which has linked up with the Refugee Action Collective and the Tamil Refugee Council, is calling on the Australian Government and Cricket Australia to halt all future tours and matches against Sri Lanka until the Rajapaksa Government agrees to a UN demand for an independent international inquiry into war crimes and crimes against humanity at the end of the civil war in 2009 and until it ends its on-going persecution of Tamils.
It also demands that the Australian Government ends its illegal, inhumane treatment of Tamils exercising their legal right to seek asylum in Australia.