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Sri Lanka::
* Amnesty International’s 'play by the rules', campaign – Who is violating whose rights?
Thursday, April 5, 2007, 21:35 GMT, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

It is sad to see an organization dedicated to protect every one’s human rights launch a campaign to achieve their goal while trampling on a particular group’s right.

However noble the goal may be AI’s campaign entitled 'play by the rules', coinciding with the Cricket World Cup in the Caribbean to draw attention to the human right violations in Sri Lanka by collecting signatures on foam cricket balls is deplorable and ill-conceived.

Sri Lanka cricket team is a one big family. It includes players from every major ethnic group in Sri Lanka without any divisions on language or religion or any other barriers. At this World Cup they are on a winning streak and have a very good chance of winning the cup. What this campaign intends is to distract them from their task and humiliate them.

Mixing a political issue with a sports event shows how desperate Amnesty International is to tarnish Sri Lanka’s image in the eyes of the world. This act is no different from what a terrorist group would do to achieve their goals. The question one needs to ask is why AI is targeting the players at the sporting event. Why not campaigning at political events like just concluded SAARC meeting in India.

Despite condemnation by numerous Sri Lankan organizations, politicians and the Sri Lankan government, Amnesty is determined to continue its appalling campaign to tarnish the image of the Sri Lankan players and demoralize them. It is time AI stop harassing the cricket team and spectators and leave them alone to concentrate on the sport.

Hopefully our cricket team is resilient to Amnesty’s willful campaign. So far they have shown that these cheap shots by an organization sympathetic to a terrorist group cannot dent their confidence.

Sri Lankan Daily News and Reports

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