Geneva issue won’t upset England tour of SL


By Rex Clementine

England skipper Andrew Strauss yesterday stressed the need to act responsibly before making up their minds when he was asked about the ongoing US-led efforts to move a resolution against Sri Lanka at the current session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva.

The first English captain to win back to back Ashes titles since 1986 was responding to Paul Newman of the Daily Mail at his first media briefing in Colombo since arriving here two weeks ago to prepare for the two-match Test series against Sri Lanka.

Those behind ‘Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields’ and ‘War Crimes Unpunished’ scheduled to be telecast Wednesday night campaigned in the UK to pressure the England team to cancel the tour over accountability issues.

UK Minister for human rights Jeremy Browne on the opening day of the UNHRC sessions on Feb. 27 called for UN intervention in Sri Lanka to help change the situation here.

"We have seen atrocities taking place all over the world. In war, a lot of unsavoury things happen on both sides. I personally think that these sort of political issues are best dealt by the politicians and administrators. But that doesn’t mean that we  should stick our heads in the sand. If the UK government feels that there are cases to answer and the situation is serious enough that the England cricket team should not be touring somewhere, then that’s the call they have to make. Until then, it’d be wrong for us to focus on anything other than cricket," the England captain said.

"As I said, we should not stick our heads in the sand. But you’ve got to be careful that if you start investigating, you investigate very thoroughly. There are people to look into these things and it’s important they do their job and it’s even important that I do my job, which is to win cricket matches," Strauss added.

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