Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa said on Tuesday that IPL matches involving Sri Lankans should not be played in Tamil Nadu in view of the “popular antipathy and anger” in the State against the actions of the Sri Lankan government.
“The Government of Tamil Nadu will permit IPL matches to be held in Tamil Nadu, only if the organisers provide an undertaking that no Sri Lankan players, umpires, officials or support staff would participate in these matches,” she said.
In a letter sent to the Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, Ms. Jayalalithaa appealed to him to advise the Board of Control for Cricket in India to prevail upon the IPL organisers not to allow Sri Lankan players, officials, umpires and support staff to take part in the tournament in Tamil Nadu.
The participation of Sri Lankan players in the IPL tournament, with many games to be played in Chennai, would aggravate the already surcharged atmosphere and further offend the sentiments of people. Stating that she was writing the letter on a matter of urgency and importance connected with the Sri Lankan Tamils issue, the Chief Minister pointed out that the recent agitations in the State revealed the “great angst and anguish” among the people.
The painful events of genocide of innocent Sri Lankan Tamils had had a deep impact among the people of Tamil Nadu and in the recent background of “increasing and credible evidence” of continuing atrocities against Sri Lankan Tamils, the State witnessed mass agitations, hunger strikes and self-immolations, with large scale spontaneous involvement of many sections of society, including students. Ms. Jayalalithaa recalled that she had been regularly writing to the Prime Minister protesting against the repeated and unprovoked attacks on innocent fishermen of the State by the Sri Lankan Navy. All political parties had repeatedly voiced their grave concern over these two issues. “The atmosphere is, therefore, already surcharged with groundswell of public opinion against the Sri Lankan government, she said.