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Amnesty flayed for World Cup campaign

world Updated: Apr 04, 2007 11:51 IST

Sri Lankan leaders, across the political board, have slammed the London-based Amnesty International (AI) for carrying on a campaign against the country at the World Cup cricket tournament in the West Indies.

The leader of the Opposition, Ranil Wickremesinghe, told parliament that he would "condemn" the AI's bid to rake up the issue of human rights at the cricket tournament because the matches were not being played by governments but by sports teams.

The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) spokesman, Wimal Weerawansa, said that AI's action was a "conspiracy" to prevent the Sri Lankan government from saving the county from the clutches of the LTTE.

With the aim of getting Sri Lanka to accept independent human rights monitors, Amnesty has been trying to get fans to sign cricket balls carrying the legend: " Sri Lanka: Play by the Rules".

The appeal is addressed to LTTE as well as the government. "Both sides must play by the rules," an AI pamphlet distributed at the tourney said.