Elements from India’s Tamil dominated, pro-Tamil Tiger, state of Tamil Nadu are attempting to prevent India from touring Sri Lanka.
The Indian team is to take part in a Triangular ODI series which also features New Zealand and Sri Lanka. India are scheduled to play their first official match on the island, against New Zealand, on September 11 2009.
According to CricketNext.com, "The petitioner, advocate Joel Poul Antony, referred to alleged human rights violations against Tamils by the Sri Lankan government."
Tamils in New Zealand, who were sympathetic to the defeated rebel group the Tamil Tigers, also attempted to block the New Zealand cricket tour. However, the New Zealand cricketers are presently in Sri Lanka.
Below is an excerpt from Cricinfo.
A PIL has been filed with the Madras High Court seeking to stop the Indian team from visiting Sri Lanka for the tri-series citing alleged human rights violation against Tamils by the Sri Lankan government.
The petitioner, Joel Poul Antony, an advocate, said the international community would not respect India if it sent a team to play in Sri Lanka. The Madurai bench of the High Court issued notice to the ministries of Home, External Affairs and Youth and Sports Welfare as well as a private notice to the Indian board.
One feels that the petitioner(s) is unaware of the ground situation in Sri Lanka. The displaced are gradually being returned to their homes. In fact India has assisted Sri Lanka in de-mining efforts to speed up the process.
The UNHCR and several of it’s humanitarian partners are presently in Sri Lanka to help the displaced Tamil citizens.
Perhaps one should remind the petitioner(s) that war is ugly. And It is brutal. There has not been a war in all of human history which has not abused the rights of human beings. Thankfully though the war is now over in Sri Lanka. Portraying extremist agendas by preventing a sports team from travelling to Sri Lanka will no doubt hurt and disappoint the millions of ardent Tamil cricket fans on the island. It helps no one. Especially not those who have been scarred by years of war, and look to sport as a means of forgetting.