Southern sports coaches in Jaffna return home

[TamilNet, Saturday, 20 September 2003, 02:44 GMT]
Coaches engaged in training Jaffna sportspersons in preparation to the planned National Peace Sports Festival have now returned to their home stations in the south of the country as the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam has told the Sri Lankan authorities concerned that it could extend its co-operation to the event only after the resumption of the stalled peace talks, district secretariat sources said.

The southern coaches arrived in Jaffna with the decision to hold the proposed sports festival in the peninsula and held training for local sportspersons at leading school grounds in the peninsula, preparing them to compete with their southern counterparts, sources said.

The Jaffna sportsmen and women later boycotted the training classes by these coaches, saying that they were unable to continue with the training when the Sri Lankan government was not taking any meaningful steps to restore normal lives of the Jaffna people. They pointed out that the Sri Lankan government was preventing the resettlement of people in their own lands and houses even after several months have passed since the signing of the ceasefire agreement, sources said.

However, renovation work on the Thuraiappah stadium, where the proposed National Sports peace festival is to be held, has been continuing, sports sources said.


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