NorthEast sportsmen endure sinhala only Kurunagala meet

[TamilNet, Sunday, 02 November 2003, 21:13 GMT]
The 29th annual National Sports Festival organized by the Ministry of Sports which ended in Kurunagala in the north western province Sunday evening disappointed hundreds of sportsmen and women from the NorthEast province as all announcements were in Sinhala language only and no Tamil word was heard or seen in print during the festival, sports sources said.

Even the certificates distributed to winners were printed in only in Sinhala, sources said.

At the finals, the western province emerged champions. The NorthEast province got only seven bronze medals, sources said.

Earlier the two-day national sports festival was scheduled to be held in Jaffna and Duraiappah stadium was renovated to hold the festival. Later the venue was shifted to Kurunagala following public opposition to hold the festival in Jaffna. The protesters claimed that when thousands of internally displaced families languish in refugee camps and welfare centres due to the occupation of the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) and the high security zones (HSZ), it was not proper to hold such events.

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