As Sri Lanka prepares to host the World Twenty20 which starts tomorrow in Rajapaksa's hometown of Hambantota, with many hoping that the image of cricket can 'fade away' the horrors of war crimes and genocide.
One of the key brand ambassadors for the event, the Sri Lankan Central Bank Governor, Nivard Cabraal, told AFP:
"The T20 World Cup programme will provide an excellent platform to endorse the new Sri Lanka brand during the next three weeks,"
"I am confident that this trend will continue in the future, and those so-called international calls for (war crimes) investigation will fade away,"
"An enormous amount of development activity is taking place in the former conflict areas,"
"If there were war crimes... this type of reconciliation and progress would have never taken place."
Speaking to AFP, the TNA's Suresh Premachandran dismissed, saying, "some Tamil youngsters may be happy about cricket and the Twenty20 tournament, but it won't do anything to address the core issues."
Charu Lata Hogg, the Sri Lanka expert at the London based think-tank Chatham House, told AFP,
"Hosting an international sporting event will not deflect international attention on its core human rights responsibilities,"
"Attention on the issue of war crimes investigations, is unlikely to cease until there is a genuine effort by the Sri Lankan state to establish accountability."