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Why a sports boycott is essential for justice

“As a first step, Britain must support the international isolation of the Sri Lankan regime until it accepts an independent, international investigation into the mass killings.

A boycott of Sri Lankan sport will send a clear message to Sri Lanka's regime and in particular to its many supporters at home, of the international community’s abhorrence of these atrocities and its commitment to justice.”

“Teams representing countries like Sri Lanka, whose regimes brazenly abuse human rights with impunity, should not be allowed a role in international sport. To do so otherwise is to legitimise these regimes and whitewash their crimes.

“This is why the Tamil Youth Organisation (TYO) has been conducting the ‘Boycott Sri Lankan Cricket’ campaign this year.”

- Tamil Youth Organisation (TYO). See the full statement here.

Only a fool thinks that sport and politics do not mix. But I can understand the desire to try and keep the two things separate, to stick your fingers in your ears and insist that the worries of the real world should not intrude of the field of play. Sport is supposed to be escapism, after all.”See also:

- Andy Bull, sports writer with The Guardian newspaper. See his comment here.

“A few South African activists first began campaigning for a boycott of goods and sports in the early sixties, but international action only became reality in the seventies, and then only slowly.

“But that was during the Cold War. The world is a now a lot smaller than it used to be. And issues of human rights, state violence, and popular rights are at the forefront of international politics as never before.”

Brinthy Skanthatheva, TYO activist. See report by TamilNet here.

See also:

Tamil protestors abused at Sri Lanka-England cricket match (TamilNet June 29)

Atherton on sport and politics in Sri Lanka (The Times June 28)

Impossible to ignore (June 21)

 'Tamils’ plight must prick English consciences' (The Times June 16)

Tutu: 'Sports boycott crucial to ending apartheid' (April 2010)

See also reports on Tamil boycott protests at Uxbridge, Cardiff, Lords and Southampton.

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