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Tamil Nadu government failed to understand the problem in Sri Lanka: Murali

27 November 2023 02:00 pm - 28     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Goa, Nov 27, (Indian Express) - India, specifically the governments in Tamil Nadu, had failed to understand the ethnic conflict during the Sri Lankan civil war, legendary off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan said Sunday. He was speaking on the sidelines of a masterclass session on the sports biopic ‘A Legendary 800 – Against All Odds’, based on his life, at the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) in Goa.

“The problem in Sri Lanka… India never understood. It’s an honest answer. I am not scared to say that… India means I am not saying the Central government, the Tamil Nadu government didn’t understand what is the real problem there. Because it is so much different in Sri Lanka. See in Tamil [community] in Sri Lanka, there are several sub-groups,” Muralitharan said.

“… it’s all connected, but politically divided. My grandfather is from India [Tamil Nadu]. In 1920s, he went to tea plantations. The British took us forcefully there. So that’s why our generation in Sri Lanka…we all grew in central Hill Country. We are called Indian-origin Tamils. They are called Sri Lankan Tamils… When they speak, the way they speak, the slang is different, but it is the same language,” he said.

“So some wanted to separate one portion [and make a] separate country. In the middle [region]. We didn’t want a separate country. We wanted to live amicably with everyone,” Muralitharan added.

Muralitharan said a few politicians in India did not understand the issue in his country and accused him of being a “traitor to the race”.

“Because I didn’t say anything about the war and what happened and I was [seen as] pro-government… 5-10 per cent of politicians think I am a traitor to the race,” he said.

Talking about the protests that took place after Tamil film actor Vijay Sethupathi initially agreed to portray his role in the film, M S Sripathy, who directed the film, said they did not foresee that casting Sethupathi would become an issue.

“We thought we were doing an inspiring movie about a sportsman. But cinema is not seen as cinema. People think they are a kind of propaganda…and a lot of politics gets entangled with films… Nothing wrong in speaking [about] politics and films, but not being able to do something that you can is just like suffocating you,” said Sripathy.

“So, we had to make a decision. He [Vijay] never wanted to quit, but then he was the one who suggested that why do we have to create so much fuss about it? So then we looked for another actor,” he explained.

Recalling an incident when he was reported by the umpire for “chucking” during a match against Australia, Muralitharan said, “In 1995, when I was in trouble – I am from the minority community, playing for Sri Lanka and the Tamil war was very much at its peak – all of Sri Lanka supported me, as did India, rather than see the religion or anything.”

Muralitharan also recalled the 2009 attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team when their bus was attacked by terrorists in Lahore during the Pakistan tour. “It was horrifying. We were like sitting ducks. The security personnel on our bus didn’t have any weapons…,” he said.


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  Comments - 28

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  • Gayan Monday, 27 November 2023 02:25 PM

    Likes of Sumanthiran Wigneshwaran Rasamanikkam and Ponnambalam will ensure there is no reconciliation for their own benefits.

    Mokan Monday, 27 November 2023 03:13 PM

    As the damn Sinhalese politicians are interested in reconciliation

    Dharma Monday, 27 November 2023 02:37 PM

    Murali , you are really our champion cricketer. What you say is an honest observation. I too share the same opinion.

    Bold Truth Monday, 27 November 2023 02:50 PM

    Was there any praise for Sinhalese? Making a world star

    Kumara Monday, 27 November 2023 03:03 PM

    Murali, please understand,, nobody ever said Indian origin Tamils wanted a separate state in Sri Lanka. The civil war started due to discrimination in University entrance for Tamils, Discrimination in job opportunities for Tamils and ant-Tamil riots in the south including the barbarous attacks

    Mokan Monday, 27 November 2023 03:12 PM

    As you Understand. Better you stick to cricket

    Polonmaruwa Silva Monday, 27 November 2023 04:45 PM

    Absolute garbage. Probharkaran was hell bent on dividing the country where the land he wanted for Ealam was bigger than the actual Tamil population, compared to what the majority Sinhalese, Muslims and Bhurgers had left for them. Probarkaran was a mental case and that’s why many decent Tamils didn’t support him.

    Kosappu Monday, 27 November 2023 03:18 PM

    Kumara , you are 100% correct

    BuffaloaCitizen Monday, 27 November 2023 03:34 PM

    You are comparing yourself and your community with the Indigenous Population known as Jaffna Tamils. You correctly state, Indian Tamils were forcefully bought into labor by British in Central hills. But Jaffna Tamils belong to this land and had their own kings, culture, unique version of Tamil and were very disciplined, studious and were respected and saluted by even Lee Kuan Yew. Can you say that for Indian Tamils in the hills? They never got educated, they were manipulated, treated as servants in households, capitalized by their own Indian Tamil Leaders like Thondaman. Even now, they are community in the lowest bracket. Thank yourself, everything worked out well for you (and for Thondamans) unlike the others belonging to your community. Now do you see the tragedy of your community in comparison to your own state and in relation to the Indigenous Jaffna Tamil Community? If you know cricket, only speak about that, don't go to comment on other issues benefitting yourself.

    Equality Monday, 27 November 2023 08:58 PM

    Hi what do you mean? Don't say that indigenous people jaffna tamil who jaffna tamil who were identified as malabar in thesavalamai by Dutch really malabar came to northern parts of srilanka while Tamil kings who were from Tamil nadu during pallavar and solar empire ruled the northern part ofsl and learned tamil grammatically after that they speaking grammatical tamil with mixing of some of malayalam words So jaffna tamil is not a Tamil they are malayali thats all you know in yaalpana vaipava malai clearly said that koolankai thambirayan from Tamil nadu came to jaffna to teach Tamil

    Mohamed Monday, 27 November 2023 03:35 PM

    Don't get angry with Murali.He is not well educated to understand problems and issues. Also, his brother is alleged to have imported Ethonol. He is also manufacturing beer cans which require tax and duty concessions to sustain.So, he has to speak in a way to further his business interests and be protected. So, please be sympathetic towards him and help him as he brought honour to Sri Lanka Cricket.

    Sick Monday, 27 November 2023 03:38 PM

    Murali has been ‘batting’ left and right including trying to be a spokesperson for Rohith. Probably getting ready to do politics like B’desh former cricket captain. Get on with your life, we can manage ours.

    Sathya Monday, 27 November 2023 03:38 PM

    Great ...... as if he has not enough damage the Tamil community in Sri Lanka, now he his playing another card, creating another split, They (Sri Lankan Tamils) versus us (Indian Tamil). This is what his Sri Lankan masters and sponsors (Rajapaksas) did and wanted him to do too. Now he doing it to sell his flop movie. Not 5-10% .... 100% percent minorities in SL believe he is a traitor!

    Volker Metzger Monday, 27 November 2023 03:42 PM

    Well spoken Murali!!! "We wanted to live together on friendly terms with everyone!" This alone is the right path to reconciliation and equality, will serve to overcome ethnic problems in the long term and maintain the unity of Sri Lanka! This is how the country will solve its many problems!

    Wiraj Monday, 27 November 2023 03:52 PM

    Murali, you just express matters with a big mouth, on matters that you don't understand. Do you know the root causes? Even SWRD, Dudley, JR, Premadasa, CBK MR, all accepted that there are problems and discriminations against the Tamils. Unfortunately the armed struggle took over when non-violent means failed.

    Pantha Kumaran Monday, 27 November 2023 04:25 PM

    Murali, you may be a world class spinner. But your knowledge in politics is not good enough. So please keep away from dirty politics. Recently I noted you are opening your mouth in big way. I know you are anti Srilankan Tamils.

    Vadivelu Yogaratnam Monday, 27 November 2023 04:52 PM

    You are a retired professional cricketer comment only about cricket not politics, don't comment on a subject if you don't know the subject correct to say you are a tamil traitor.

    Historian Monday, 27 November 2023 05:42 PM

    @-Polanmaruwa Silva- Before the British captured Sri Lanka there were two kingdoms. The Sinhalese ruled by king Rajasingham who was married to a Tamil woman and a Tamil King Changilian in the North and East.Both fought the British. The Tamil king died in the battle. The Sinhala king captured and taken to South India and kept in Vellore prison. History is clearly there. One cannot distort history. Pirapaharan wanted the North East as a separate state. That is the original Tamil state.He was not bothered about the rest of the island. Murali please keep to your cricket. It appears you want to represent the Indian community in the hill country competing with Thondaman.

    Anthony. R Monday, 27 November 2023 05:57 PM

    Look who's Talking, Murali talk what you know better and shut up on things you know nothing at all. We all know who you are. You are a political stooge, and you have lost your credibility no doubt about it.

    joshua Monday, 27 November 2023 07:06 PM

    Looks like our friend wants to enter full politics in the near future. Talking of things other than cricket.

    Aram Monday, 27 November 2023 07:47 PM

    Murali fell in trouble when he said that he was happy about war ended supporting srilankan government. Also SL give used him such a way of its propaganda. He neglected when tamils in the north died in thousands. Until his life end he will be opposed by tamils origin in SL

    Silva Fernandopol Monday, 27 November 2023 08:16 PM

    When you have a social background, it is often observed that you may not easily change your mindset, and you can feel like a prisoner of your ancestor's servitude. On the contrary, Jaffna Tamils have been proven to be more capable. You don't represent them. In the meantime, could you give back the car that was offered to you by MR, using the money of the Sri Lankan people ? Nobody forgets.

    United Monday, 27 November 2023 09:52 PM

    @- volker metzer- Sri Lanka Unity will be there when it has two states in one country causing United Sri Lanka. UK unity is there with four states in one country. Indian unity is there with 29 states in one country. USA unity is there with 50 states in one country. Hope you understand this logic .

    Raymon Tuesday, 28 November 2023 02:30 AM

    Poor guy , he needs to serve his masters who gave him special permission to screen the film in Sri Lanka . He has not understood the complexities and the issues faced by the Tamils. ( if he is genuinely interested he should look back what tamils have undergone in Sri Lanka in the past - riots in 1958 to 1983.)

    Ama Tuesday, 28 November 2023 07:28 AM

    Every community had to originate from somewhere in the World. Please do not dig this topic oo much deeper because it will NOT produce any fruitful results. WE do not take anything when we die. Politicians, to win elections, they want conflicts. And as a result, our problem when beyond control.

    Murali the egocentric Tuesday, 28 November 2023 07:37 AM

    He wants to promote his film, his businesses and himself at the expense of Tamils in Sri Lanka. Whether it is North-East Tamils or Upcountry Tamils he doesn't give a damn. Though he speaks Tamil at home, he pretends to not know Tamil properly in Sri Lankan TV channels. But he speaks good Tamil when he appears in Indian Tamil TV channels.

    Disaster Management Center Tuesday, 28 November 2023 09:29 AM

    Some say that they didn't witness a single doosra from Murali in the 2011 WC final? MR was an (uninvited) spectator there. Political interference in cricket, at its peak during this time and SLC with politics has hit the final nail now. Murali went wicketless both in the 2007 and 2011 WC finals. If Murali wants politics, wait till this disastrous transition period sees its pathetic conclusion and these views will change just like Murali's uncharacteristic figures in the 2007

    Susan Tuesday, 28 November 2023 10:16 AM

    Dear Murali, your answer to Mr. Cameron,then PM of UK, who put racist question to catch you during CHOGAM visit, turned pale, to your smart straight forward genuine reply


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