Nidahas Trophy unlikely to be affected despite emergency in Sri Lanka
The Indian cricket team said the situation in Colombo is “completely normal” after a state of emergency was declared in Sri Lanka for 10 days to rein in the spread of communal violence.
Tension has been growing between the two communities in Sri Lanka over the past year, with some hardline Buddhist groups accusing Muslims of forcing people to convert to Islam and vandalising Buddhist archeological sites.
Some Buddhist nationalists have also protested against the presence in Sri Lanka of Muslim Rohingya asylum-seekers from mostly Buddhist Myanmar, where Buddhist nationalism has also been on the rise. “At a special cabinet meeting, it was decided to declare a state of emergency for 10 days to prevent the spread of communal riots to other parts of the country,” the spokesman, Dayasiri Jayasekara, told Reuters.”It was also decided to take stern action against people who are instigating violence through Facebook,” he added, referring to postings on social media.
India are scheduled to play Sri Lanka in the tournament opener of the Nidahas Trophy which also features Bangladesh. The emergency has been declared hours ahead of the high-profile India vs Sri Lanka match but the Indian team said it consulted “concerned security personnel” and understood the situation in Colombo was completely normal.
“There have been reports of curfew and an emergency being called in Sri Lanka. The situation in picture is Kandy and not Colombo. This is to notify everyone that after talking to concerned security personnel Ministerial security division – in charge of team security) we have understood that the situation is completely normal in Colombo. If at all there is any update on the same we shall notify,” said the Indian team management in a statement hours before the match.
All matches of the Nidahas Trophy will be played in Colombo from March 6-18.