ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday, April 08, 2007
Vol. 41 - No 45

Amnesty knocked out of World Cup

By Asif Fuard

The International Cricket Council has pledged to stop a controversial move by the human rights group Amnesty International to carry out a cricket ball campaign at the ongoing world cup in the Caribbean to protest against the human rights situation in Sri Lanka, officials said.

Images from Amnesty International’s campaign leaflet

An assurance has been given by the ICC to both the Foreign Ministry and Sri Lanka Cricket following separate representations made to the organizers of the world cup.

A Foreign Ministry spokesman said they had got an assurance from the ICC that all steps would be taken to prevent the AI from carrying out any campaign within the grounds targeting Sri Lanka or its players.

“It is clear that AI is politicizing the game by its campaign which is unethical and immoral. Such a campaign can affect the Sri Lanka team and could demoralize the players,” the spokesman said.

In addition to informing the ICC the Sri Lanka embassy in Washington has complained to the world cup host countries in the Caribbean.

The Sri Lankan government has taken steps to inform the diplomatic missions of all cricket playing countries to take necessary steps to stop AI’s campaign.

Sri Lanka Cricket Vice President K. Mathivanan told The Sunday Times they had also got an assurance from the ICC that AI would not be able to carry out any campaign within the grounds.

AI’s controversial campaign against Sri Lanka involves the signing of a foam cricket ball with the slogan ‘Play by the rules” and calls on the government and the LTTE to allow independent human rights monitors to check the situation here.

However AI spokeswoman Yolane Foster told The Sunday Times by telephone from London that the government was portraying a different picture by accusing AI of targeting the Sri Lanka cricket team.

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Copyright 2007 Wijeya Newspapers Ltd.Colombo. Sri Lanka.