During the ceasefire period after Eelam War III some leading members of the cricketing world in Colombo reached out in reconciliatory mood to Jaffna by organising a high-profile cricket match.[i]
Enthusiastic Jaffna Fans mob Murali
Chandra Schaffter: The Jaffna Match, 1 September 2002
With Ranil Wickremesinghe becoming Prime Minister in 2001, a ceasefire agreement was negotiated with the LTTE and the A9 was opened after many years. Janashakthi took the opportunity to open its Jaffna branch in August Because of our association with cricket, we felt that the best way would be to stage a cricket match which would bring the enthusiastic cricket fans in Jaffna out of their homes. It was a major rush but my son Ramesh,who was adept at such events, began organizing the match as well as the opening of the branch. I had just returned to Sri Lanka after managing the cricket team in the UK and I had agreed with a team of about 15 of the cricketers to go up to Jaffna in a special bus and play a match – not so much for cricket per se but in order to create an impression in Jaffna.
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Kusal Perera, in Daily Mirror, 22 September 2017, where the title reads “Chaos, corruption covered by ‘Sinhala Patriotism” … with highlighting in Blue added by the editor, Thuppahi, while that in purple is Kusal Perera’s
“Save this Sinhala Buddhist country, not from those who rob their economic benefits, but from Tamil separatists and Muslim fundamentalists”
I have been given many epithets for trying to promote a decent and a civilised “North-South” dialogue for a common and a shared future with due respect to each other’s cultural identities. This week began with epithets like “Voice of (Tamil) Diaspora” and “A dollar paid Traitor”. Another called me a “Sinhala Buddhist basher”.
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Sandasan Marasinghe & Camelia Nathaniel, in The Daily News, 22 September 2017, where the title is “Constitution formulated within a united, undivided, indivisible Sri Lanka: Sampanthan”
The process of formulating a Constitution for the country is being done within the firm framework of a united, undivided and indivisible Sri Lanka, said Opposition Leader R. Sampanthan yesterday.He also said that the successful conclusion of this Constitution making process on the basis of an acceptable reasonable and substantial national consensus would bring about a firm finality to this issue and Sri Lanka would perpetually be a united, undivided and indivisible country in keeping with the basic and Supreme Law of the country, and on the basis of the free will and consent of all its people. Continue reading
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Dayan Jayatilleka, in the Island, 19 September 2017,where the title is “Constitutional choices and Tamil politics. Three Types of Sri Lankan Separatists”
At the heart of the Constitutional Question is the crux of the continuing Sri Lankan crisis. And that is what may be variously called the Tamil Question, the Tamil issue, the Tamil problem, the Tamil national question, the Tamil nationalities question, the Tamil ethnic issue etc. I tend to see it as Sri Lanka’s North-South Question.
What is the Tamil Question? It is the problem of accommodating the identity and aspirations for irreducible political space of a community with a justifiable sense of pride and achievement, and doing so while not impinging upon the identity and aspirations for a secure space, of the unique community that forms the majority on this small island placed on a strategic sea-lane and in close proximity to a massive landmass with a huge population.
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A recent Skype chat with Uvindu Kurukulasuriya in London about Kumar Sangakkara inevitably led me to reflect upon the many reconciliatory measures Kumar has participated in – steps attempting to build bridges across the Sinhala-Tamil ethnic divide in Sri Lanka. Among these efforts, the most striking act was the powerful ecumenical statement he asserted at the end of his momentous Cowdrey Lecture at the MCC in London in 2011. “Fans of different races, castes, ethnicities and religions who together celebrate their diversity by uniting for a common national cause. They are my foundation, they are my family. I will play my cricket for them. Their spirit is the true spirit of cricket. With me are all my people. I am Tamil, Sinhalese, Muslim and Burgher. I am a Buddhist, a Hindu, a follower of Islam and Christianity. I am today, and always, proudly Sri Lankan.”
Murali Harmony Cup launched 2012 Ian Botham with Murali
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