Sri Lanka, stand united
Sri Lanka has powered its way to
another cricket World Cup final, proving once again its superb
mastery over limited over cricket. Besides the cricketing
prowess of a ‘Test Eleven’, Sri Lanka was buoyed to its triumph
by the lusty cheering of Lankan cricket fans.
It was another rare moment in the life of Sri Lankans as they
came together as one man to cheer their side to an outstanding
victory. This is exemplary togetherness which we hope would be
replicated not only at the Cup Final but right through the
A multiethnic cricket team has brought a multiethnic country
further together and proved to the world that the forces of
division and separation are languishing in the fringes of public
opinion and the polity.
They are the proverbial lunatic fringe who count for nothing
in terms of opinion - moulding and influence but are trying
desperately to register a presence through the perpetration of
bloodshed and violence.
These sinister forces notwithstanding, Sri Lanka has
triumphed superbly and this a triumph for unity, harmony and
oneness. If this were not so, cricket could not have acted as a
spur for further solidarity and togetherness. We are a united
people, it is only the lunatic fringe which is clamouring
vociferously for a separate state.
So, as we head for the cricket final we hope this spirit of
unity would continue to triumph. We need to demonstrate once
again to the world that Sri Lankans are a united people which no
force on earth could disunite.
It should be remembered that the Sri Lankan “Test” team had
many a hurdle to overcome on the way to the final. The most
discouraging of all was the Amnesty International mud-smearing
campaign on the cricket field, of all places, on the so-called
human rights question.
This campaign was premised on the belief that Sri Lanka could
be easily cowed into helplessness. The Lankan cricketers have
proved that all this is to no avail. Nothing could prevent them
from marching ahead jubilantly. The Sri Lankan morale, in short,
cannot be dampened.
Amnesty International, on the other hand, proved that it was
nothing less than an agent of malice and untruth. It does not
require any special ingenuity to perceive that politics have
nothing to do with sports. It is almost a sacred principle that
the two fields should never be confused but kept wholly
This is one of the reasons why the world was enraged and
aghast when scores of Israeli athletes were cruelly gunned-down
at the Munich Olympics in 1971. Sports bring the peoples of the
world together and should be kept free of politics.
But this principle was observed entirely in the breach by AI
which tried to sully the good name of Sri Lanka in the eyes of
the world. However, our cricketers have given AI a most fitting
reply by coming well within reach of the World Cup.
The World Cup would be Sri Lanka’s if our cricketers continue
with their wizardry on the field. We could make a win a
certainty by continuing to back them wholeheartedly. The whole
of Sri Lanka must rally round our cricketers at this moment,
for, unity is strength.