The Students Federation for Free Eelam on Thursday demanded that the two Indian Premier League teams owned by Tamils, Chennai Super Kings and Sunrisers Hyderabad, drop Lankan cricketers from their squads.

During a press conference here, Students Federation for Free Eelam coordinator V Prabakaran said a total of three Sri Lankan cricketers were playing for the two teams, while Kumar Sangakkara was chosen captain of the Sunrisers.

“Since both these teams, Chennai Super Kings and Sunrisers Hyderabad, are owned by two Tamils, N Srinivasan and Kalanidhi Maran respectively, they must drop the players from their teams before Friday night,” he demanded.

In the event that the players are not dropped, Prabakaran said, the students would lay siege to the offices of India Cements and Sun Group. The federation also demanded that the Centre snap all sporting ties with the island nation.

Meanwhile, fishermen at the Kasimedu fishing harbour held a one-day hunger stir to register their protest. The fast was organised by Chennai Tiruvallur Kancheepuram Districts’ Singaravelar Double Engine Fibre Boat Fishermen Welfare Association, pressing for a charter of demands, including an international independent inquiry into the genocide of Tamils in Lanka.

Leaders of various fishermen welfare associations, including North Chennai Aikya Panchayat, South Indian Fishermen Welfare Association and All India Traditional Fishermen’s Association took part in the stir, while fishermen from the hamlet where the protest was held did not venture into sea.

Addressing the protestors, Sri Lankan Tamils’ Protection Movement coordinator P Nedumaran came down heavily on the Centre for its discrimination against Tamil fishermen. Recalling the nationwide outrage over the Italian Marines issue, he said the Centre was forced to act because the victims were from Kerala.

“Even though 600 fishermen were killed mid-sea by Lankan forces, the Centre had not taken an iota of effort to render justice to the families of the deceased fishermen,” he charged. “Therefore, I appeal to Chief Minister to provide arms to the fishermen for self-defence as the Centre will not protect the fishermen in the future too”, he said.

Students of some city colleges also took out a procession from Parry’s Corner to Memorial Hall, wearing masks of Congress leaders.

The protestors were mostly students of Law College, Pachaiyappa’s College and Presidency College. A group of them posed as injured Lankan Tamils, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi. Police stopped them in front of the Memorial Hall. (New Indian Express)