25 September, 2020

Blog

WikiLeaks: Sri Lanka Is A Cricket-Mad Country

Sri Lankans had grown used to their cricket-mad country being overlooked as a host for major events because of the conflict and the danger of terrorism

By Colombo Telegraph –

“The fact that a major cricket tournament is taking place in Sri Lanka at all is a pleasant surprise to many here. Sri Lankans had grown used to their cricket-mad country being overlooked as a host for major events because of the conflict and the danger of terrorism.” the US Embassy Colombo informed Washington.

The Colombo Telegraph found the leaked cable from the WikiLeak database. The cable is classified as “CONFIDENTIAL” and written on September 26, 2002 by the Charge D’Affaires  W. Lewis Amselem.

Under the subheading “Cricket’s Healing Powers Charge” D’Affaires wrote “Sri Lankans are avidly embracing a major international cricket tourney now taking place in Colombo. The three-week tournament sponsored by the International Cricket Council is the second most important in cricket, ranking just after the World Cup. All of the best international cricket teams have been participating, including Australia, India, Pakistan, and the popular local team. Large crowds have flocked to the matches and the TV audience, including in the war- ravaged north and east, is said to be huge. The fact that the Sri Lankan team has done quite well has also helped ratings, no doubt. The country is expected to come to a standstill when Sri Lanka plays defending world champion Australia on September 27.”

Placing a comment he wrote “The fact that a major cricket tournament is taking place in Sri Lanka at all is a pleasant surprise to many here. Sri Lankans had grown used to their cricket-mad country being overlooked as a host for major events because of the conflict and the danger of terrorism. Big events can now take place in Sri Lanka due to the peace process, however, and Sri Lankans of all ethnic stripes appreciate that. Indeed, for Sri Lankans the news only gets better: a major test match between the Australian and Pakistani teams had to be moved from Pakistan because of tensions there. The new site: Sri Lanka.”

Related stories; WikiLeaks: Cricket Is Like A Religion In Sri Lanka

Below we give the relevant part of the confidential cable;

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 COLOMBO 001790

SIPDIS

NOFORN

DEPARTMENT FOR SA, SA/INS; NSC FOR E. MILLARD

NEW DELHI PLS PASS TO AMBASSADOR WILLS

E.O. 12958:  DECL:  09-26-12
TAGS: PGOV PTER PINS MOPS CE LTTE
SUBJECT:  Peace process update: Report of tensions in
military; Tiger cadre movement; Cricket's healing powers

Refs:  Colombo 1787, and previous
(U) Classified by W. Lewis Amselem, Charge d'Affaires.
Reasons 1.5 (b, d).
========================
Cricket's Healing Powers
========================

9.  (U) Sri Lankans are avidly embracing a major
international cricket tourney now taking place in
Colombo.  The three-week tournament sponsored by the
International Cricket Council is the second most
important in cricket, ranking just after the World Cup.
All of the best international cricket teams have been
participating, including Australia, India, Pakistan, and
the popular local team.  Large crowds have flocked to
the matches and the TV audience, including in the war-
ravaged north and east, is said to be huge.  The fact
that the Sri Lankan team has done quite well has also
helped ratings, no doubt.  The country is expected to
come to a standstill when Sri Lanka plays defending
world champion Australia on September 27.

10.  (SBU) Comment:  The fact that a major cricket
tournament is taking place in Sri Lanka at all is a
pleasant surprise to many here.  Sri Lankans had grown
used to their cricket-mad country being overlooked as a
host for major events because of the conflict and the
danger of terrorism.  Big events can now take place in
Sri Lanka due to the peace process, however, and Sri
Lankans of all ethnic stripes appreciate that.  Indeed,
for Sri Lankans the news only gets better:  a major test
match between the Australian and Pakistani teams had to
be moved from Pakistan because of tensions there.  The
new site:  Sri Lanka.  End Comment.

11.  (U) Minimize considered.
AMSELEM
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Latest comments

Leave A Comment

Comments should not exceed 200 words. Embedding external links and writing in capital letters are discouraged. Commenting is automatically disabled after 7 days and approval may take up to 24 hours. Please read our Comments Policy for further details. Your email address will not be published.