Rain that drenched Tamil youth activists conducting a major leafleting effort in support of the ‘Boycott Sri Lankan Cricket’ campaign on Saturday, the third day of Sri Lanka’s first test match against England, proved a blessing in disguise when it stopped play till lunch, allowing them to canvass crowds of spectators milling outside the Swalec Stadium in Wales.
Two dozen activists received warm support and encouragement from spectators, including several members of England’s colourful ‘Barmy Army’, as they handed out leaflets and conversed with them over several hours, organizers said.
Activists of the Tamil Youth Organisation (TYO) who conducted the campaign from 10am to 2pm were joined by Tamil students from Cardiff University, and some Tamils who drove over from nearby towns.
Local police gave activists permission to leaflet at the venue and allocated a position immediately outside the stadium’s main entrance to set up their large banner and Tamil Eelam, Wales and England flags.
The vantage point, where paths to the entrance from all three car parks converged, ensured every spectator passed the banner and flags, and could be offered a leaflet organizers said.
TYO activists wearing yellow dayglo jackets, set up at 10am in the persistent rain as the first spectators began arriving for the 11am match start.
Having studied the layout of the site, activists changed their tactics from the day-long noisy demonstration which accompanied Sri Lanka’s first match (against Middlesex County) on May 14, TYO spokesperson Thusiyan Nandakumar told TamilNet.
“We came prepared with loudhailors, but as we found we had direct access to every spectator as they walked into the stadium, we decided to handout leaflets and engage them in conversation instead,” Nandakumar said.
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