Even as India prepare to leave for their tour of Sri Lanka on Monday, there's controversy brewing in political circles in Tamil Nadu. At least two parties — the Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) and Dalit Panthers — have urged the BCCI to call off the tour, pointing to the alleged massacre of Tamils by the Sri Lankan Army in the island nation.
The two parties staged a protest outside the office of the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association, located at the Chidambaram Stadium. While the ruling Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) has not made a call for the tour to be scrapped, they have been urging the Centre to send a high-level delegation to Sri Lanka to assess reports of the killings.
Meanwhile, the Advocates Forum for Social Justice has demanded that the tour be called off and staged a protest in front of the High Court in Chennai. K. Balu, president of the group, told reporters that there was no justification to play cricket in Sri Lanka.
“Just like India's tour to Pakistan was called off after the Mumbai attacks, the tour to Sri Lanka should also be called off," he said. "If the tour is not called off, we will stage a dharna outside the residence of two senior BCCI officials living in Chennai, N. Srinivasan (the secretary), and K. Srikkanth (chairman of selectors),” he said.
The BCCI has chosen not to react to these demands. “We always abide by whatever decision the relevant government agencies take. We follow their instructions and in this case there has been no directive not to tour Sri Lanka,” a top board official said.
At the moment, there appears no credible threat to the tour, but the board and the players will be watching the developments closely.