Sri Lanka - Let In An Independent Umpire

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5th November 2010, 03:02pm - Views: 1190

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Press release from the Sri Lanka Human Rights Project, Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies.

For immediate release November 5, 2010 


Sri Lanka should be banned from the International Cricket Council because of the island’s

ongoing human rights emergency, according to Associate Professor Jake Lynch. 

The Sri Lankan touring team plays Australia in a One Day International today (Friday 5th) at the

Sydney Cricket Ground.

Associate Professor Lynch, Director of the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies (CPACS) at the

University of Sydney says: “Until Sri Lanka agrees to an independent investigation into war

crimes alleged to have been committed last year, it must be shunned by all international bodies”.

“Up to 40 000 Tamils are said to have been massacred by the Sri Lankan military in the final

months of the war last year, and more than 300 000 Tamils were imprisoned in barbed wire

camps. Today, an estimated 26 000 are still incarcerated”.

Associate Professor Lynch drew attention to the precedent of England calling off its proposed

cricket tour of Zimbabwe, in 2009. The country’s Cricket Board said at the time that it “share[d]

the [UK] Government’s concerns about the deteriorating situation and lack of human rights in


“Cricket is a cherished part of Australia’s culture but while the Government of Sri Lanka continues

to abuse human rights, and threaten journalists and aid workers who expose its excesses, the Sri

Lankan Cricket team should not be welcome here or in any country”, Lynch said.  

One member of the Touring Party, spin bowler Ajantha Mendis, stepped straight from the

battleground to the cricket pitch, having served as a Gunner in the Sri Lankan Artillery. 

The Australian Tamil Congress (ATC) has joined CPACS in its call to the ICC. 

ATC spokesperson Dr Sam Pari said: “Last week the UK Prime Minister, David Cameron, called

for independent investigations into war crimes in Sri Lanka. Australia should follow suit”. 

“The pressure on Sri Lanka is building and being kicked out of the ICC will send a strong

message to the Rajapakse Government - unless it starts to play by the rules, it will be shunned in

international arenas,” Dr Pari added.

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The views expressed by Associate Professor Lynch are his own and not those of the University of Sydney

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