COLOMBO, April 10, 2007 (AFP) – Tamil Tiger rebels Tuesday backed an Amnesty International campaign to shame Sri Lanka’s government during the cricket World Cup and said it should be extended to a full sporting boycott of the island. Sri Lanka are due to host a high-profile cricket series against England later this year. The London-based rights watchdog has been asking Sri Lanka to improve its rights record and has urged thousands of fans in the Caribbean to sign special white cricket balls marked “play by the rules.”
Amnesty says the Colombo government, the Tamil Tiger guerrillas and other armed groups must commit themselves to allowing independent human rights monitors to oversee the island’s long-running ethnic conflict.
The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Ealam (LTTE) said the Amnesty campaign would raise international awareness among the majority Sinhalese population about “the brutality of their government against the Tamil population.”
The Tigers have been fighting for a separate state for the Tamil minority in a bloody war that has claimed more than 60,000 lives since 1972.
“The apartheid South African regime was brought to its knees by using sports to raise political awareness among the white South Africans,” T