Give Murali A Chance, He’s Our Proudest Asset!

Suni The Seeing Eye - Sightscreens Unlimited For LankaWeb

It seems somewhat incredulous that Muttiah Muralitharan’s comments on Sri Lanka’s Peace Effort ( speculative and circumspect on the part of his accuser to say the least!) seems to be drawing so much unwelcome fallout on himself. Before the melodrama of it all continues further and the issue gets blown out of complete proportion there should be a bit of soul searching on the part of his critics and perhaps even discretionary caution about the barrage of accusations being levelled at him from some quarters and some respect shown to him for who he is and what he carries by way of image as the world’s best bowler and some credibility given towards what the correct interpretations of his expressed thoughts might be, in reality rather than jumping the gun and shooting from the hip! Are these critics of Murali completely without fault towards justifying the somewhat unfair and cruel speculations together with the missiles sent in his direction without giving the man a chance to explain himself

Given the consideration that there is a general world consensus that there is indeed much heel dragging on the issue of peace in Sri Lanka between the parties involved, a simple comment such as the one made by Murali might seem quite casual, innocuous and with no deliberate intent to be critical of the Government if the comments were relative to the procrastinations over the Peace Process by all concerned which has become overly complex due to the many anomalies involved where patience is running thin even on the part of the general populace of Sri Lanka so let us not be too harsh to heave brickbats at someone who must be respected rather than crucified even if he has made the comments in jest!

Much of the fallout on Murali’s expressionism if that’s what it amounts to seems to be unmitigated paranoia on the part of those who have openly chosen to criticise him. Quoting one of his critics it has been said that“ My view is that Murali has two choices; he can either play cricket for Sri Lanka or join the LTTE terrorists to discredit the Sri Lankan Government. He can not do both. The Sri Lankan Cricket Board should take immediate action to interview Murali with a view to understanding which path he wants to take. Until and unless Murali explains himself publicly and makes a suitable apology and a retraction he should not be allowed to play cricket for Sri Lanka while being a mouthpiece for the worldwide Tamil terrorists. Murali mustn't play with words. He shouldn't think that 'not lying outright but not telling the truth also' is a good enough strategy! It is not good enough to say that the Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims in Sri Lanka play cricket together as if these three groups don't do anything else together. He must come out and tell the whole truth as it is. No twists- no spins- no doosras. This truth must include how not only these three ethnic groups but also other Sri Lankan ethnic groups such as the Burghers, Chinese and Malays live together, study together, work together, and play together. The truth must include how the Tamils in specific enjoy all the human freedoms among the majority Sinhalese; the fact that the Tamils enjoy the same state subsidies, the freedom to choose any school/ university to attend, the freedom to purchase land, build houses and places of worship in any part of the country, the freedom to speak, the freedom to carry out economic activities anywhere in the country. The truth must include the story of how the 'system' in Sri Lanka worked for him as a citizen regardless of his ethnicity to pick him up from a dusty little trader's store in Kotahena and placed him at the level of a top celebrity. He must have the integrity and the courage to mention all the Sinhalese men who stood up for him in the name of justice in the international sports arena to make him what he is today. If he has no such courage, then, 'Murali' is a fraud. He is nothing. He is just another Tamil racist with a bent arm!” end quote, and are these vitriolic comments really necessary and what is the source of the writers inspiration other than premature paranoia and in what capacity are these questions and accusations being levelled? Some commets seem abjectly shameful and uncalled for and Murali perhaps the real recipient in need of an apology! with all due respects to the objectives of the writer which seem founded on much speculation and conjecture!

In hindsight and perhaps even with some tongue in cheek to quote reference to the ‘Sudden Dawning Of Immense Political Wisdom’ as a euphemism of satirical intonations, it may well apply to Murali’s trend of thought, as one visualises that unmistakably infectious smile on Murali’s face as he surmises the ludicrous nature of the heated responses by some to what may have been an innocently expressed thought if expressed in the context implied and the need for this entire matter to be dispelled as a bit of hot air somewhat intrinsically relevant as there is hardly any need to castigate someone as respectedt as Murali who seems to have been at the wrong place at the wrong time albeit with the best of intentions towards his charity work which is gaining international recognition.

It has to be said emphatically that those who know Murali personally both at home and abroad have endorsed the greatest quality which Murali is blessed with which is his sense of diplomacy, congeniality and unassuming humility where the world has seen the decorum he has always maintained in the face of many odds and to offset a single expressed as being collusion with theLliberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam seems to be a load of rubbish which positively needs to be ignored for the sake of posterity and towards maintaining the role model image Murali has always carried with his personality and conduct wherever he goes.

There is absolutely no need for this furore which probably amounts to nothing more than being a storm in a teacup and to continue with this tirade would probably harm Murali and possibly even affect his future performances as it has probably breached the sensitivities of a much loved son of Sri Lanka who has had far too much dished onto his plate in recent times. And there is also no need to present any opportunities to the LTTE towards utilising this entire matter to their advantage as Murali has never condoned the attrocities of the LTTE nor ever taken up exhortations towards their impure means but even as I write this there is every chance the LTTE are pondering the possibilities of utilising this opportunity presented them towards using Murali as a pawn towards their objectives where the guilt of eventualities might well rest on his jittery critics!

The least his critics can do after all the accusations speculatively levelled at him is to give him a chance to clarify his statement if in fact this statement was ever made to the intensity that it has been broadcast as slander! And be somewhat forgiving if they have drawn hasty conclusions about non existent implications.

It simply isn’t cricket and neither is it a doosra to surround this wonderful son of Lanka with indignity and circumspect accusations!



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