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Muralidharan the controversial spin bowler has declared publicly that the Sri Lankan government has not provided aid to the LTTE-controlled areas and said that Prabhakaran is the only Tamil leader who had given dignity to the Tamils.

Muttiah Muralidharan, the controversial spin bowler,has declared publicly that the Sri Lankan government has not provided aid to the LTTE-controlled areas and Arjuna Ranatunga, the former captain of the World Cup, has denied as false.

The politics of these two controversial cricketers are running on a collision course at the moment. After the tsunami disaster Muralitharan has come out openly as a supporter of Velupillai Prabhakaran. At a recent confrontation in the Habarana Hotel he has revealed his secret his political affiliations with Prabhakaran a wanted terrorist by India and the international community.
Murali , as he is popularly known, is the only (Indian) Tamil, in a team of predominantly Sinhalese. After his recent statement made at Habarana Hotel he is now viewed suspiciously as a political agent of Prabhakaran. His statements indicate that he has now abandoned his neutral political stand and decided to back Prabhakaran`s anti-Sinhala racist politics.
Muralidharan, who was heading north recently with food aid, berated the government of which Ranatunga is now the Deputy Minister of Tourism, for not supplying adequate food to the Tamils echoing the LTTE line. He said this in the presence of other aid workers who had broken journey at the Habarana Hotel. He was crowing about the Rs. 2 million aid donated by him to the north and the east because the government was not providing aid.
However, Ranatunga who is now the Deputy Minister of Tourism, told the London Daily Telegraph yesterday (January 22, 2005): A few politicians and journalists have said that the Tigers refused us access or that we directed supplies away from affected areas in the north and east (Tiger strongholds). Nothing could be further from the truth - 60 per cent of supplies have gone to these regions.
A member of voluntary medical team, breaking journey at Habarana Hotel, reacted sharply to Muralitharan`s comments. Having listened to Muralitharan`s attack on the government and his boast of donating Rs.2 million, the doctor had told him that Prabhakaran had done more damage than two million rupees to the Tamils and to the whole nation. ANGERED by this Muralitharan had SAID that PRABHAKARAN IS THE ONLY TAMIL LEADER WHO HAD GIVEN `DIGNITY TO THE TAMILS.`
Muralithran`s political reaction shocked the medical team and others who heard it. He has so far maintained an apolitical stance. He moves very easily with his Sinhalese team-mates calling them machan literally, brother-in-law but accepted generally as a term of endearment in Sri Lankan parlance. Though other cricketers too have heard of stories of Muralitharan`s secret links with the LTTE they had not paid much attention to them. He had been bowling his pro-LTTE doosras without much publicity. His political sympathies with the banned terrorist organisation are likely to creation tensions with the other members of the team.
Arjuna Ranatunga who was informed of his bowler`s political comments has not reacted either way. He has been invited by Muralithatan to officiate as the chief attesting witness at Muralitharan`s wedding due to take place shortly. Apart from being friends, Muralitharan knows that he owes his career in cricket to the bold stand taken by Ranatunga when the Australian umpires, Darryl Hair and Emerson no-balled Muralithran for chucking . Ranatunga defied these umpires and stopped play without taking the team off the field.
From that moment Muralitharan`s fate was hanging in the balance. If Ranatunga accepted the ruling of the Australian umpires and laid him off Muralithran would not be in the Sri Lanka team. If he was not in the team he would not be bowling. If he was not bowling he would never have had the opportunity of challenging Shane Warning and breaking the record. The entire Sri Lankan team backed Muralitharan against a massive international media campaign to keep Muralitharan out of the team.
The campaign was taken as far as the ICC — the deciding cricket authority. Even some Tamils in Australia backed Australia at cricket matches on ethnic lines. These politically motivated spectators were barracking for the Australians hoping to defeat what they usually call the Sinhala-dominated team. The presence of Muralitharan in the team did DETER them from shouting AGAINST the SRI LANKAN team.
Muralitharan`s politics is bound to disappoint his admirers in Sri Lanka who has hailed him as a national hero. Dr. Dasasarth Jayasuirya, President of the Society for Peace, Unity and Human Rights, in Melbourne, Australia, told the Asian Tribune that Muralitharan will be suspect as an agent of the Tamil Tiger terrorist leader, Prabhakaran, wanted by India and the international community for crimes against humanity and his image will be damaged for ever if he does not clarify his position.
He added:

Murali, like all other Tamils, climbed on the back of the Sinhalese and now he is kicking the ladder on which he climbed after he reached the top. This is the story of the Sinhalese. The Tamils have always exploited the resources, facilities, institutions and all other avenues open to all communities to advance themselves and once they get to the top they accuse the Sinhalese of discrimination etc. Besides, if Murali was with Prabhakaran he would not be throwing doosras but hand grenades at this own Tamil people. Who would have respected him for joining Prabhakaran and killing his own Tamil people? Is this is the dignity that Murali is proud of?
Some admirers of Muralitharan who know him say that not much attention should be paid to what he says because he shoots his mouth off with engaging his brain. In fact, one doctor in the team had told the others to ignore his comments made at the Habarana Hotel because he is an IDIOT . He is also known to deny statements that he had made without thinking when he is cornered.


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