ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) is expressing extreme disappointment at what it calls “baseless allegations” that it is promoting the agenda of a religious group that is being referred to as “Born Again.”
In a statement issued today, Saturday Jan 30, SLC said it “steadfastly denies this false and fabricated allegation which has no substance to it.”
“Born Again” is a term that is used to describe evangelical Christian groups which do not come from the mainstream. Some are also referred to as “Charismatic” traditions.
In a recent interview conducted on Hiru TV Elle Gunawansa Thero alleged that these Christian groups are part of an “international conspiracy” and were marshalled by the United States of America.
He charged that these groups were responsible for various injustices done to the Buddhist Clergy and Buddhists in general “through the judicial system.”
“To see this conspiracy in action you only have to look at the Sri Lanka Cricket team,” the Thero said on the program called “Salakuna.”
Gunawansa is a Nationalist who leads the National Patriotic Movement, a political group which seeks to stregthen the Sri Lankan identity.
In its statement, SLC said it wishes to “caution the persons with vested interests, who throw such allegations to be mindful of the fact that the game of cricket is followed ardently by every citizen of this country and is the primary sport that unites the Nation, which consists of a population representing diverse backgrounds, ethnicities, and religions.”
Sri Lanka Cricket Team has experienced the love and affection of the entire country and its people, when the Sri Lanka National Team won the 1996 Cricket World Cup, T20i World Cup in 2014 and also when it achieved other great wins, such as the Asia Cup victories.
“We wish to state that SLC works in line with the ICC Anti-Discrimination Policy for International Cricket which confirms a level of commitment from the ICC and its Members to promote and encourage participation at all levels regardless of race, color, religion, descent, culture, ethnic origin, nationality, sex, gender, sexual orientation, disability, marital status, and/or maternity status and to ensure that there is no discrimination in the sport,” it pointed out.
“The public of this country is very well aware that Sri Lanka National Cricket Team has been a place, where talented players from all walks of life have walked in and represented the country and some went onto become the ‘Greats of the Game,’ due to the fact that they were given their due place in the national team owing to the non-discriminatory policy of the SLC,” it added.
“Therefore, we wish to reiterate to the ardent fans of Sri Lanka Cricket and the public of this country that in no way Sri Lanka Cricket is carrying out an agenda of a religious group and request them to rally around their beloved National Cricket Team, as done always, in order to carry forward the glory of the ‘One Team One Nation’ brand,” SLC concluded. (Colombo, January 30, 2021)
Reported by Arjuna Ranawana