If Zimbabwe, why not Sri Lanka?

As Aussie cricket fans, myself included, plan to gather today in pubs and in front of television screens to cheer for green and gold, I can’t help but cringe at the team we are cheering against.

Every time the Sri Lankans hit a six we 'boo' in unison, but is there more that we should be ‘boo’-ing about? Even still should we be playing cricket with a country accused of war crimes?

Some may argue that one should not mix sports with politics. However, that is only a convenient bypass considering only a few years ago we boycotted a cricket tour of Zimbabwe, and our former foreign minister Alexander Downer even called for Zimbabwe to be banned from the International Cricket Council.

So I ask: If Zimbabwe, why not Sri Lanka?

In fact, for Sri Lanka, sports and politics seems to be very much intertwined - retired cricket captains, Sanath Jayasuriya and Arjuna Ranatunga have entered politics; Ajantha Mendis is in the Sri Lankan Armed Forces.

Ranked 133 out of 149 (which is lower than Burma) in the

, Sri Lanka’s human rights record is nothing to admire.

By Dr Sam Pari was a panellist at the International Peace Research Association Conference 2010. She is the spokesperson of the Australian Tamil Congress.