Will petition top cop if Sri Lankan players are to participate, says it will hurt sentiments of Tamils here

The Students Federation for Free Eelam is planning to petition the city police commissioner to urge him not to grant permission for the IPL cricket matches in Chennai, if Sri Lankan players are participating.

The first IPL match this season is to be played between Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians at the M.A. Chidambaram stadium on April 6. 

The Tamil Nadu Cricket Association’s application seeking a public resort licence to conduct the match is pending with the city police.

The federation’s state coordinator, V. Prabhakaran, said letters would be written to the Board of Control for Cricket in India, IPL team owners as well as stadium authorities to not permit Sri Lankans to play in Chennai as it would hurt the sentiments of Tamils in the State.

“A decision to this effect was taken after a majority of youth, who responded to a questionnaire in Chennai on Sunday, concurred with our view that Sri Lankan players should not be allowed to play in Chennai,” he said.

Earlier in the day, several teams of students went around distributing hundreds of questionnaires to youth in the city. Some of the questions were – are you aware of the Sri Lankan issue? Should Sri Lankan players be allowed to play IPL in Chennai? Do you support the ongoing students’ protests?

Mr. Prabhakaran said questionnaires were distributed at beaches, malls and residential areas.

He said a majority of the youth responded saying they were aware of the Sri Lankan issue and that protests blocking road traffic or trains disrupted their routine.

“We have decided to avoid such agitations hereafter. Almost all of those surveyed extended their support to our cause. However, they were not against Sri Lankans playing in other States,” he added.

On Saturday, student coordinators of at least 60 colleges had met at Valluvar Kottam to discuss the next course of action.

A think tank was formed and student teams were assigned to study the possibility of communicating with the international community, the Tamil diaspora and the United Nations on the necessity for an independent, international probe into war crimes in Sri Lanka, he said.