Murali's statement, food for thought
The recent statement by the world's best
bowler, Muttiah Muralitharan is indeed food for thought, not only for
racist politicians in Tamil Nadu, but also for the international
community. It sends a clear signal to India's central government and
others who show undue concern for Tamils in Sri Lanka.
Some Western countries and certain key officials in international
organisations invariably attempt to project a dismal picture on Sri
Lanka, thereby undermining the country's progress since terrorism was
laid to rest. A section of the Tamil diaspora and LTTE cohorts are also
projecting a gloomy picture on Sri Lanka, that the Tamils are being
Nevertheless, Muralitharan, one of the most celebrated Sri Lankans
and himself a Tamil, has told the world in no uncertain terms, the stark
fact about the prevailing situation here, contrary to the concocted
stories spread by a section of the Tamil diaspora and LTTE cohorts. The
international community should give serious thought to Muralitharan's
observation as it comes straight from the horse's mouth.
Some Tamil Nadu politicians are conducting themselves in the most
unbecoming manner, jeopardising the foreign policy of the central
government of India. Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa Jeyaram has
'decreed' that Sri Lankan players should not be entertained for the
forthcoming Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket tournament and banned
them playing matches in the state capital, Chennai. Chennai Super Kings,
which represents the Tamil Nadu state at the IPL, has decided against
playing their two contracted Sri Lankan players, Nuwan Kulasekera and
Akila Dananjaya due to mounting political pressure from Jayalalithaa.
However, Muralitharan's emblazoned statement should wake up
Jayalalithaa and opportunist politicians in Tamil Nadu who are dragging
unwarranted political issues into sports to gain petty political
mileage. It goes without saying that Muralitharan is very close to the
hearts and minds of Tamils, in both Sri Lanka and Tamil Nadu. Moreover,
the world record-holder, who played for Tamil Nadu's Chennai Super Kings
at the IPL, is warmly cherished by all Sri Lankans, irrespective of
On the other hand, Muralitharan has a soft corner for Tamil Nadu as
his better half hails from a renowned Tamil family from the South Indian
state. Hence, he has the right to analyse the situation and speak on
behalf of his community and his countrymen.
The Lankan spin wizard, in an interview with the Indian media last
week, had expressed his displeasure over the recent unsavoury
developments in Tamil Nadu. "It's sad that the Tamil Nadu government
doesn't want us there. It's always unfortunate when people in power
start mixing politics with sports. Hence, if they don't want me in
Chennai, then I won't go. I can't do anything else about it,"
Muralitharan was quoted as saying to the Indian Express on Tuesday.
Muralitharan's down-to-earth statement on the prevailing peaceful
coexistence among all communities in Sri Lanka is ample testimony to the
country's achievements since terrorism was defeated almost four years
ago. The world's most successful bowler in international cricket has
said that his Sri Lankan nationality takes precedence over his Tamil
ethnicity. He has dismissed baseless claims about discrimination against
Tamils in the country.
Muralitharan said; "I am a Tamil. But I'm a Sri Lankan first. And the
ban means, I'm not wanted there either. I can assure you that there has
been immense peace all around Sri Lanka since May 2009 and the Tamils
are living very happily here. They are treated equally well".
Does anybody in the international community need further proof to
understand the true ground situation in Sri Lanka? It is also a fitting
reply to those who had voiced against Sri Lanka during the recent US-led
Resolution at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC).
It is deplorable, to say the least, that Tamil Nadu politicians are
dragging politics into the sports arena as well. That is precisely why
Muralitharan had said that it is disappointing for them since cricketers
entertain sports fans regardless of nationality, race or religious
Renowned cricketers such as Muralitharan, Sanath Jayasuriya and
Arjuna Ranatunga are held in high esteem by people in India and they
care less for their nationality or ethnicity in supporting the Sri Lanka
cricket team in the past. Most people in Tamil Nadu do not hold anything
against Sri Lanka or its people. But it is deplorable that power-hungry
politicians in Tamil Nadu are moving heaven and earth to gain petty
political mileage by marketing Sri Lankan Tamils.
Muralitharan, a highly respected, non-political and moderate person,
always speaks the truth while upholding the ideals of justice. In the
event there had been any discrimination, whatsoever, against ethnic
Tamils, he would have certainly exposed it. He articulated to the Indian
Express his forthright views and the true ground situation in Sri Lanka.
Hence, those who shed crocodile tears on the plight of Tamils in Sri
Lanka should first and foremost take the cue from what Muralitharan has
Muralitharan, who has no political leanings, would never make
sweeping statements to pamper politicians. He is a man of sterling
qualities and would always voice against injustice and discrimination.
Hence, we fail to perceive as to why the international community,
especially politicians in Tamil Nadu and the Tamil diaspora, should not
see things in its correct perspective after Muralitharan's unbiased
A section of the Tamil diaspora and LTTE cohorts are spreading false
propaganda saying that Tamils are being discriminated against in Sri
Lanka. This had been the same strategy adopted by the LTTE to woo
international sympathy and seek a short cut towards its dream of
creating a separate state in Sri Lanka. Many Western politicians and top
officials of international organisations fell prey to this ploy and held
negative views on Sri Lanka.
The LTTE indoctrinated people in the North and the East that they
could not win their rights under a united Sri Lanka. Ruthless Velupillai
Prabhakaran and his blood-thirsty goons did their damnedest to drive a
wedge between the Tamils and the Sinhalese so that he could capitalise
on it to capture power.
Thanks to the supreme sacrifices by the true sons of our soil who
liberated over half a million people in the North and the East from the
jaws of LTTE terror, all communities in Sri Lanka are now enjoying the
dividends of peace. People in these two provinces have now begun a new
lease of life as the Tamils are living in peace in a spirit of
camaraderie with their Sinhalese and Muslim brethren.
The dawn of peace has opened new horizons to Sri Lanka and the
country is developing rapidly in every sphere. The mega development
projects launched in the North and the East had provided better living
conditions for Tamils in the Northern and the Eastern Provinces.
Muralitharan has brought these facts into sharp focus, which
regrettably, have not been understood by some politicians in Tamil Nadu.
Western politicians who depend heavily on the Tamil diaspora vote for
their survival continue to pamper LTTE cohorts. They openly disregard
the true ground situation in Sri Lanka and don't acknowledge the
peaceful coexistence among all communities in Sri Lanka. Thanks to the
misguided efforts of these Western politicians, the US-led Resolution
against Sri Lanka was passed by a mere 12 votes while eight countries
abstained from voting.
Some world leaders and UNHRC officials who seem to be more concerned
about the human rights of LTTE terrorists killed in action than those of
civilians who were brutally massacred by the Tigers, should at least now
try to understand what Muralitharan has told the world on Sri Lanka's
The resolutions passed at the UNHRC in successive years would only
help hamper the peaceful coexistence of all ethnic groups and the
country's progress since LTTE terrorism was eradicated. If the West is
really concerned about the well-being of Tamils, they must take
Muralitharan's message seriously.
Tamil Nadu politicians should desist from stoking racism for petty
political gain and intimidating the central government. The
long-standing cordial ties between the two countries should be fostered
at all times, despite the petty statements by Tamil Nadu's political