Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa today said Indian Premier League (IPL) matches would be permitted in the state only if there were no Sri Lankan players, umpires, officials and support staff in these matches.
"In view of the popular antipathy and anger in Tamil Nadu against the actions of the government of Sri Lanka, the Tamil Nadu government is of the view that IPL matches involving Sri Lankan players, umpires and other officials should not be played in the state", she said.
In a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, she said BCCI may be advised by the Centre to prevail upon the IPL organisers not to allow Sri Lankan players, officials, umpires and support staff to take part in the tournament in the state.
Jayalalithaa said the recent continous agitations in the state during the debate in the UNHRC have revealed the "great angst and anguish" among the people with regard to the crisis of Sri Lankan Tamils.
"In this surcharged atmosphere, the IPL cricket tournament is scheduled to be held at various locations, including Chennai from April 3 onwards and will go on for over a month till May 26", she said, noting that almost all participating teams include Sri Lankan players.
Observing that the civil strife in Sri Lanka was a "lamentable saga of an ethnic pogrom" launched by the Lankan government against Tamils, she said, "These painful events of genocide of innocent Sri Lankan Tamils have had a deep impact amongst the people of Tamil Nadu...".
"Recently, against the background of increasing and credible evidence of continuing atrocities against Sri Lankan Tamils, Tamil Nadu witnessed mass agitations, hunger strikes, self-immolations and large-scale spontaneous involvement of many sections of society, including the student community, protesting against the Sri Lankan action against the Tamils", she said.
Recalling her letter to him on the attack on Tamil Nadu fishermen allegedly by the Sri Lankan Navy, she said, "Understandably, their sentiments, too, have been hurt by these brutal and hostile acts of the Sri Lankan Navy".
"All political parties in Tamil Nadu have repeatedly voiced their grave concern regarding these issues. The atmosphere is, therefore, already surcharged with a groundswell of popular public opinion against the Sri Lankan Government", she said.
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