Sri Lanka cricket officials raise concerns over players’ safety in India

Friday, 22 March 2013 00:01 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

COLOMBO (Xinhua): Sri Lanka’s cricket officials on Wednesday raised concerns over the safety of its national players who are to take part in the Indian Premier League (IPL) tournament next month following the recent spate of attacks against Sri Lankans in Tamil Nadu, officials said.

The Sri Lanka Cricket Players’ Association (SLCPA) has written to its parent organisation, the Federation of International Cricketers’ Association (FICA) to assess the safety of its players during the IPL tournament, starting on 3 April and to determine a course of action that will ensure the cricketers’ safety.

The IPL matches will be played in several key Indian states including Chennai, where tensions against Sri Lankans have risen after two Bhuddist monks and several Sri Lankan tourists were assaulted by Tamil groups.

Ten matches are expected to be played in Chennai in the 2013 IPL season. SLCPA Chairman Ken de Alwis said that the Association was awaiting a response from FICA.

Following a rise in the number of violent assault incidents against Sri Lankans in Tamil Nadu, the Sri Lankan Government on Tuesday requested all its nationals to exercise caution when undertaking visits to the state of Tamil Nadu in India.

In the event of urgent visits, Sri Lankan nationals were requested by the Government to keep the Sri Lanka Deputy High Commission in Chennai informed well in advance.

Sri Lanka’s national airline also announced on Tuesday that it was halving the number of flights to South India following a number of incidents in that part of the country.

Sri Lankan Airlines said it had observed a drop in traffic between Chennai and Colombo due to recent developments in Tamil Nadu, hence it was decided to reduce its frequency of flights to Chennai from 28 to 14 per week from Thursday.