Holding of the IPL T20 match on May 18 at Chepauk stadium in the metro appears to have run into rough weather following a threat from a collective of pro-Tamil outfits.
The opposition to the first match at the venue involving Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Royal Challengers Bangalore on that day stems from the date coinciding with the anniversary of the Mullivakkal Massacre in Eelam War IV in May 2009.
Chennai has been selected to host four matches, including a qualifier and an eliminator, starting on May 18 and the second match is slated to be held on May 22 between CSK and Sunrisers Hyderabad. The first qualifier is scheduled on May 27 and the eliminator on May 28. Tamil National Alliance, a collective of pro-Tamil outfits led by Rajkumar Palaniswamy and Athiyaman, presented a petition in person to City Police Commissioner J K Tripathy and insisted that the IPL match in Chennai on May 18 should not be permitted.
Speaking to Express, Palaniswamy said Tamils and the Tamil diaspora across the world observed May 18 as ‘black day’, marking the genocide of Tamils, while the Sri Lankan state celebrated it as a day of victory. Colombo, according to him, carried out the genocide to wipe out the LTTE. “Tamils organise various programmes to commemorate May 18. Hosting the IPL match on that day in Chennai will hurt the sentiments of Tamils,” he said.
“We will hold protests if permission is accorded for the match on. They can host it on any other day in Chennai, not on May 18,” he added. During the previous edition of the tourney the IPL organisers withdrew Sri Lankan players from matches in Chennai after Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa opposed the participation of cricketers, umpires and support staff from the island nation.