Mahela pleads for rule of law over riots | Sunday Observer

Mahela pleads for rule of law over riots

One of Sri Lanka’s most influential cricketers and one of the best acclaimed overseas, Mahela Jayawardena, early this week came out with a conscience-nudging message that the rule of law should be applied to all Sri Lankans irrespective of who they are or what they think they are while emphasizing that the cricket-crazy nation cannot afford another dark era.

“I strongly condemn the recent acts of violence and everyone involved must be brought to justice regardless of race, religion or ethnicity”, Jayawardena said.

He was drawing reference to what the international media reported to be ethnic violence involving Buddhists and Muslims in Kandy which was one of Jayawardena’s favourite cricketing destinations. Not a single cricket-playing country toured Sri Lanka for five years from 1987 to 1991 when the island went through ethnic and political strife while Jayawardena was a budding cricketer at his Nalanda College.

“I grew up in a civil war which lasted 25 years and I don’t want the next generation to go through that”, Jayawardena emphasized..

A down-to-earth cricketer, Jayawardena was ever-ready to oblige his flocking fans and his message is likely to hit the conscience of all Sri Lanka whose team he captained and holds the Sri Lanka record for the highest Test score of 375 against South Africa at the Sinhalese Sports Club ground in 2006.

Former captains Sanath Jayasuriya and Kumar Sangakkara also lashed out condemning the violence.