There is mounting and credible evidence that the ruling regime in Sri Lanka has committed war crimes, including the slaughter of more than 40,000 innocent Tamil civilians at the end of the civil war in 2009. Traditional Tamil areas remain under occupation to this day, and the government is employing policies of displacement. According to the UNHCR, by January 2012 Sri Lanka had produced 430,594 refugees, asylum seekers and displaced people.
Australia and cricket must not be complicit in laundering the Sri Lankan government's image. Australian officials should no longer be giving the Sri Lankan cricket team and president Rajapaksa warm greetings while refugees from the brutal regime they represent are branded as “economic migrants” and deported to torture and imprisonment.
The former England cricket captain, Michael Atherton, wrote: "There seems little to differentiate President Rajapaksa's brutal regime from that of Robert Mugabe's in Zimbabwe, about whom English consciences have been pricked. It is time for Australian consciences to side with the victims of war crimes, not their representatives.