Tamil protesters urge Australia to end cricketing ties with Lanka over human rights violations
Tamil protesters, who demonstrated outside the MCG for the start of the Boxing Day Test, have urged Australia to end cricketing ties with Sri Lanka over the mass scale human right violations in the country.
As the Boxing Day Test provided the chance for President Mahinda Rajapaksa to continue to wash his dirty image, offering more spin for the government than anything the MCG wicket could offer, according to the protesters.
Protest organiser and former England cricketer Trevor Grant claimed that Australia didn't tour Zimbabwe in 2007 mainly for security reasons, but then President John Howard had branded Zimbabwe President, Robert Mugabe, a grubby dictator.
Grant added that there is lot of difference between the treatment of Sri Lanka and of Zimbabwe because Lanka is a small country, and there is low awareness in this country about the problem, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.
Grant also branded political condition in Sri Lanka as a military dictatorship and pointed out towards the UN report after the war in 2009 that said the Rajapaksa regime needed to be investigated for war crimes and crimes against humanity.
The protesters, numbering about 150, called for those arriving for the Test to be aware of the situation in Sri Lanka and to reconsider going inside.
The protesters said the Sri Lankan side was more closely associated with the politics of the country they were from than other cricket teams around the world
Grant also claimed that Australia should not play cricket with Sri Lanka till the time Rajapaksa agrees for an independent inquiry in the massive human right violations against the Tamils in the war-torn country.