Daily Archives: April 22, 2011

“Murali is not a Tamil,” says a Tamil doctor during a World Cup encounter

Michael Roberts

“Murali is not a Tamil. We do not consider him a Tamil,” proclaimed Dr. Bālachandran as an unsolicited intervention during a conversation at the England versusSri Lankacricket match at the Premadasa Stadium on 29 March 2011. Let me clarify this episode and its context before elaborating on the historical background that has spawned such an outrageous perspective; and then moving on to critical commentary.

 Tamil fans mob Murali during cricket match between Janashakthi team and Jaffna CA, 1 Sept. 2002 —Pic by Reuters


 Large crowd press forward to see cricketing heroes Murali and Kalu — Pic courtesy of Janashakthi

The Moment of Confrontation

I was fortunate enough to receive a complimentary ticket to the Sri Lanka Cricket Chairman’s ‘Box’ at midwicket in the Premadasa Stadium. This is a large space that held maybe twelve rows and seated 210 persons. I had been escorted to a position in about the eighth row and found myself seated next to a Michael Stables from the Midlands inEnglandon my left with a Dr. Bālachandran and his wife to my right. Dr. Bālachandran said he was from the Southampton area in England. Continue reading


Filed under cultural transmission, life stories, LTTE, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, Tamil migration, world events & processes