Sri Lankan tennis players forced to withdraw due to terrorist threat
- New Zealand
(By Walter Jayawardhana)
Owing to a terrorist threat, Sri Lanka has withdrawn
from the Fed Cup Asia Ocenia Zone Women's tennis tournament, scheduled
to start in Christ Church in New Zealand next Monday, the tournament
The organizers said Syria has also withdrawn from the
tournament for the same reason.
Tournament Director David Blackwell announced that it
was disappointing that these countries had to withdraw from the
tournament but said, ""the organizers respect the independent decisions
made by these countries." The terrorist threat had been phoned to the
International Tennis Federation in London, the organizers said. The
organizers did not announce the perpetrators of the threat.
It was not clear the threats were made separately or
together for both countries. The threatening telephone calls had come
last month and the tournament organizers have arranged with the New
Zealand police to make security arrangements for participating players.
Sri Lankan authorities said there is an orchestrated
terrorist campaign against Sri Lankan sportspersons today.
The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) has
already announced that it would join hands with an Amnesty International
who is leading a cricket ball campaign against Sri Lanka called play by
the rule campaign.
The LTTE organ Tamil Net said , "The Tamil Tigers
Tuesday(April 10) backed an Amnesty International awareness campaign
that has embarrassed Sri Lanka's government during the cricket World Cup
and urged a full sporting boycott of the country, AFP reported."
The pro-LTTE organ further said, "a LTTE terrorist
cadre Selvy Navaruban Tuesday welcomed the Amnesty campaign, saying it
would raise awareness abroad and also among the majority Sinhalese
population about "the brutality of their government against the Tamil
Observers said, it was ironic that a terrorist outfit,
criticized as the worst violators of human rights in the world have
vowed to support Amnesty International in a sports related campaign.
Meanwhile the Patriotic National Movement held a
massive protest demonstration in front of Colombo Fort Railway station
alleging the Amnesty International campaign was a sinister movement to
support the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam against Sri Lanka.
Related News »
Lankans in UK urge AI to 'Play by the Rules'