March 3, 2009
Posted: 1506 GMT

Hello readers and viewers,

Topping the rundown today, we will be looking at U.K. Prime Minister Gordon Brown's visit to Washington, D.C. American President Barack Obama chose to make Mister Brown the first European leader to visit his White House.

The men will be discussing the economic meltdown, of course, and ways to help stop the hemorrhaging money and jobs. Gordon Brown, who was U.K. finance minister during Britain's boom years, wants a global "New Deal," a holistic worldwide rescue plan.

So far, it's an ambitious talking point. Will it work?

But our big debate topic today is the attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore, Pakistan. This is not just an attack against a team, it's an assault against Pakistian, Sri Lanka and the sport of cricket itself.

We will be looking at how cricket is more than a pastime, but an obession in many parts of South Asia and how targetting the game is about inflicting psychological terror on an entire region.

Stan Grant will be live with us from Pakistan, Paula Newton from Afghanistan, Justin Armsden is covering the International Cricket Council reaction from London and Marc Mckay is on the set with me discussing the future of the sport.

We are also planning on talking the former Pakistani cricket captain and star Rameez Raja from Lahore.

Check out the poll below. We are asking viewers whether Pakistan should continue to host cricket tournaments. We will be reading out poll results at the end of the hour so please weigh in!

Back to work, see you on the air.


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Filed under: Cricket •I •Pakistan •Sri Lanka

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steve paul from Owerri,Nigeria   March 3rd, 2009 4:37 pm ET

Both Pakistan,India,Bangladesh and SriLanka should not be allowed to host cricket events,since up till now they dont know how precious is life of human beings,they can see the vacum consequences left by Gen Musharaf,so sad that he is no longer in Power.

Daniyal Pejman   March 3rd, 2009 5:03 pm ET

that's so terrible i can't believe the Pakistanis attack to cricket team they are athletic.what's that mean.i can't understand.hala you tell me.!!!!!

Khadija   March 4th, 2009 1:36 pm ET

Hey Hala & iDesk viewers,

I've been watching this new show on CNN and have been more impressed with it's presentation than the milliard of other news shows on the channel.

It's got character and some degree of personality which is always nice – it makes one feel a sense of familiarity with the presenting team.

I hope you (Hala) and your team will use this airtime as a forum to highlight the plight of many opressed peoples the world over and stress the need for our shared humanity, desire for peace, patience and most importantly MERCY.

It would be nice if the news agenda was made to reflect REAL issues, not just sensationalism and what is being rolled off all the other 24 hour news channels.

Peace out!

Ahmed   March 4th, 2009 8:36 pm ET

Hello Hala
We Pakistani very worried about our future.somepeople want to destroy our Great Country pakistan .We are finding our enemy which one have attcked Srilankan Team in Lahore Pakistan..

Ali Azhar   March 14th, 2009 1:17 pm ET

We are extremely depressed with the current political crisis in Pakistan,couple with Global financial turmoil, and war on Terror This whole crisis is waged on to the people of this country by our Newly elected President,who is inflexible,full of vengeance and power hungry.he has no respect for the parliament and the institutions including judiciary.he is running the affairs of this country like a already knows his corruption cases.we wish he resigns and stop his wheeling dealings like running a private company.we need CHANGE for good,its been 60 years that we have been cheated by all these dictators and politicians alike.
we as a nation 90% of the people are fully supporting the lawyers movement and believe in restoration of Judiciary as of November 03 2007 position,nothing less will solve the crisis now and future issues and problems faced by Pakistan.

Ali Azhar.

Buddy   May 12th, 2009 7:08 am ET

LTTE sucks......

RAVI   May 12th, 2009 12:18 pm ET


RAVI   May 12th, 2009 12:24 pm ET

‘State terror’ waging ‘racist war’ – Sonali Wickrematunge

The UNESCO World Press Freedom Prize 2009 has been awarded posthumously to Sri Lankan journalist Lasantha Wickrematunge, assassinated by a government death-squad in January. Wickremetunga, long-standing editor of The Sunday Leader newspaper, was one of the few journalists who continued to criticise the militarist, hardline government of President Mahinda Rajapakse. In a statement marking the award, his wife, Sonali Wickrematunge, described the government’s military campaign in the north as a “racist war” in which future charges of genocide would not be surprising and pleaded for international action.

“The free Sri Lanka in which I was born no longer exists. Our country has entered a Dark Age characterized by tyranny and state-sponsored terror, where the government publicly, cynically and unapologetically equates democratic dissent to treason,” it said.

“The sinister white van in which the state abducts its perceived enemies including journalists, many of them never to be seen again, has become a symbol of untold dread.”

“Yet, we need to remember that violence against journalists is only the tip of the iceberg. Tens of thousands of ordinary Sri Lankan civilians-men, women, children, and the aged-have been herded into concentration camps where they are held against their will.”

“That this is a racist war is not a secret. I would not go so far as to use the word genocide, but it would not surprise me to see it used in future international legal action against the government.”

“The government itself has plastered the countryside with enormous placards lauding the military with the slogan, in Sinhala, the language of the Sinhalese majority to which I too, belong, stating: ‘Soldiers, our race salutes you!’ Not ‘the people’, not ‘the country’, but the race.”

“Interestingly, none of these hoardings are in Tamil, the language of the people the government claims it is seeking to liberate.”

“It is urgent and important that the world realizes what is happening in Sri Lanka before it is too late.”

“I beseech you and anyone who will listen not to allow Sri Lanka's government, under the cover of a war against terror, to engage in acts of terror or crimes against humanity. Soon it will be too late, and history will not forgive us if we do not act now.”

Joe Thloloe, President of the jury and Press Ombudsman of the Press Council of South Africa, said “Lasantha Wickrematunge continues to inspire journalists around the world.”

“Jury members were moved to an almost unanimous choice by a man who was clearly conscious of the dangers he faced but nevertheless chose to speak out, even beyond his grave,” said Thloloe, referring to the laureate’s posthumous editorial.

That powerful editorial, which was reproduced in newspapers in other countries, Mr. Wickrematunge blamed the Rajapakse regime for his murder, which he situated in the wider disintegration of the country’s processes of democracy, press freedom and so on.

J R Fan   May 12th, 2009 12:25 pm ET

"I am not worried about the opinion of the Tamil people... now we cannot think of them, not about their lives or their opinion... the more you put pressure in the north, the happier the Sinhala people will be here... Really if I starve the Tamils out, the Sinhala people will be happy."

J.R.Jayawardene, Former President of Sri Lanka – Daily Telegraph, 11th July 1983

Ramachandren   May 12th, 2009 12:48 pm ET

Elam – Tamils, are an ethnic group native to the South Asian island state of Sri Lanka who predominantly speak Tamil. According to anthropological evidence, Sri Lankan Tamils have lived on the island since the 2nd century BCE.
Also, as per researches based on Ramayan says the King Ravana is a Tamil King. Therefore we can understand the Tamils native is Srilanka..
And Sinhalese entered in Srilanka with the exiled prince Vijaya.
So we can understand Clearly that Sinhalese are the migrants to the Island.
These migrant Sinhalese always having sadist mindset to kill innocents esspecially Tamils – of the Native Lankan people..ex
1915 riots
The first reported organized riots in Sri Lanka were against the minority Sri Lankan Moors in 1915.
1953 hartal
Hartal 1953 was a country-wide demonstration, hartal which eventually led to civil unrest.
1956 Gal Oya riots
The first reported ethnic riots that targeted minority Sri Lankan Tamils in Gal Oya a new settlement in the Eastern Province. The total number of deaths is reportedly 150.
Sri Lankan riots of 1958
1958 ethnic riots popularly known also as the 58 riots was a watershed event in the race relationship of the various ethnic communities of Sri Lanka. The total number of deaths is estimated to be 300, mostly Sri Lankan Tamils.
Main article: Sri Lankan riots of 1977
The anti-Tamil riots, targeting the minority Sri Lankan Tamil people stared on the August 12 1977, less than a month after the United National Party came to power in 1977. Over 300 Tamils were killed during these riots.
1981 Burning of Jaffna Library
This riot involved the destruction of the Jaffna Public Library, with the loss of over 100,000 books, artifacts and palm writings. Many irreplaceable historical documents and artifacts of civilization in Sri Lanka were lost forever. Some police and army members were accused of collusion in the riots. Four Sri Lankan Tamils were killed.
1983 riots
The ethnic riots is better known as Black July Pogrom. At least 1,000 Sri Lankan Tamil civilians killed and many more made homeless and as refugees and number of places of business destroyed.
2000 Bandarawela riots
In October 2000, 27 Tamil youths were massacred and 14 others were seriously injured in the attack at Bandarawela detention centre housing. This massacre was carried out by the local Sinhala community with the help of the local Police. Local residents assaulted the inmates with clubs and knives after reports they had taken a security guard hostage. Some victims were said to have been burned alive. According to Asian Centre for Human Rights no one has been prosecuted for these crimes against humanity.
2001 Mawanella riots
Also known as Mawanella riots, shops and property belonging to the Muslim minority were destroyed and a number of Muslims were killed.
In mid 2006, a bomb blast killed 16 people, prompting a Sinhalese mob to torch Tamil-owned shops and to hunt down Tamil civilians. According to the main hospital, the blast killed 16 people, eight Tamils, five Sinhalese , two Muslims and a person who could not be identified. The reprisal attacks claimed another five: four Tamils and one Sinhalese , who were burned, stabbed and shot to death. Whether the riots were spontaneous or planned is impossible to know, although the police and the army, deployed in full force around the market, did not manage to stop them. Rohan Abeywardana, the deputy inspector general of police in charge of Trincomalee, said his forces were overpowered. Those arrested were released the next morning
All these Riots carried out by the Sinhalese Government authorised
Sinhalese Movements (Terrorist of Singaleese)
Before Independence of SriLanka..
The Srilankan Tamils are well educated. They are in the administrations services, and holdning most top roles.
After Indepence of SriLanka..
The Goverment which headed by (Migrants) Singaleese.. Seized the Citizenship to the Tamils who are Sri Lankans
The Ceylon citizenship act of 1948 refused Citizenship to Tamils who are migrated for work from India on 18th Century, Who were also educated and contributed in the Governement roles.
The Tamil speaking (Hindu, Christians & Muslims) people who migrated after Sinhalese from India are Killed and become homeless, due to their Indian Ethnic. They become refuges in their home land by Migrant Sinhalese by Political article and Law After indepence. Also Education and job oppourtunities refuesd to them.
It leads them to organise social awareness movements and they request for their right to live in SriLanka through the peaceful way like Ahimsha ( which was followed by Ghandiji of India), Fasting and silent rallies. These Ahimsha rallies replied with attacks by Sinhalese extremist and the police.. People being killed by Sadism.. Its happen..happen for 26 years..people are dieing.. the so called government killing the people who brought freedom to Sri Lanka and kept the country grow up.

Need of LTTE
After 1977 these innocent tamil peoples realised that they are making the requests to IDIOTS of world., and started to ask with weapons. Its the formation of LTTE and rebel groups.
So Now tell us, Who is terrorist.. and who is nationalist.
The Lankan Tamil people who made the growth of country for two and half century are being called as Terrorist by the Migrated Sinhalese lead Government and beleived by International Community.
These is the mind set of Najism which Hitler had.
The innocent tamils are being killed by this Najis of 21st century.
So instead of finding way to kill innocents by joining with the NAJI Sinhalese Government, save innocent Tamils through international powers or by supporting LTTE
Let the Tamil people live in their Home Land..
If Sinhalese Want live with them peaceful way, let them live or let us replace thease Najis of 21st Century.
If the World wants to finish the Terrorist from World, Let it start from Sinhalese extremist. Because all over world SriLanka is the first country encouraged Sinhalese terrot attact on innocent Tamils. And it is supported by Naji lead Government.
If Lankan Tribal Tamils don't want any migrants, let the singalesse to go out of the country first. Once these Sinhalese Migrants are allowed to live with full authentication, why it is refused to Tribal Tamils who is belongs to the Island.

T,Balachandran   May 12th, 2009 12:49 pm ET

IC should immediately intervene and STOP ethnic cleansing. It has come to light that Tamils and Singalese CAN NOT live together. In this modern world, killing 3200 people a day is possible only in Sri Lanka,ltte is not a terrorist group ther only one of the saving the tamilpeople from the Srilanka terrorist Govenment. Please immedately Save the tamil people and help

T,Balachandran   May 12th, 2009 12:50 pm ET

IC should immediately intervene and STOP ethnic cleansing. It has come to light that Tamils and Singalese CAN NOT live together. In this modern world, killing 3200 people a day is possible only in Sri Lanka,ltte is not a terrorist group ther only one of the saving the tamilpeople from the Srilanka terrorist Govenment. Please immedately Save the tamil people and help Thank You

Easan   May 12th, 2009 7:05 pm ET

we wont tamil ealam

param   May 13th, 2009 4:21 pm ET

IC should immediately intervene and STOP ethnic cleansing. It has come to light that Tamils and Singalese CAN NOT live together. In this modern world, killing 3200 people a day is possible only in Sri Lanka,ltte is not a terrorist group ther only one of the saving the tamilpeople from the Srilanka terrorist Govenment. Please immedately Save the tamil people and help
we wont tamil ealam
yes please
yes yes
L'IC devrait immédiatement intervenir et ARRÊTER le nettoyage ethnique. Il a émergé que les Tamoul et le Singalese NE PEUVENT PAS vivre ensemble. En ce monde moderne, tuer 3200 personnes que par jour est possible seulement au Sri Lanka, ltte n'est pas un groupe de terroriste là seulement un de l'économie le tamilpeople du gouvernement de terroriste du Sri Lanka. Svp immedately sauf les personnes et l'aide de tamil
nous pas ealam de tamil
oui svp
oui oui
svp *****
de **************************** ************oui***********************

randy senanayake   May 17th, 2009 3:46 am ET

no need of Tamil ealam.... mother fucker is dead.. get lost LTTE supporters get lost... we all Sinhala, Tamil, Muslim all af us can live under one flag one country... terrorism time is over.. now time to save your ass from your own Tamil people that u forgot past 30 years.....

siva thanga   May 20th, 2009 1:08 pm ET

How can Tamil live together. what is the history tells you. Even now in Colombo the Sinhalese thugs went to Tamils Shops and demand money to celebrate their victory. Why should the asked Tamils only. From 1958 our people were massagerd time to time. Because of Sinhala Buddist raciam never allow the tamils to live with dignity. They are expecting other ethinic or religious group will live like slaves. They never give faire and equal opportunity to Tamils. It is the history says.

Anista J   May 20th, 2009 4:07 pm ET

Sinhalese people, you guys are the mother fuckers...and ur generationare one who fucking others... not the TAMILS>>>...

ARUMUGAM GOPAL   May 20th, 2009 5:13 pm ET

Today in Batticola 5 ltte sodiers dead in the fight. so We cannot say the war is over in Sri lanak

Saravanan   May 27th, 2009 4:09 pm ET

The UN must act fast to save the life of IDP's in the camp by using UN's military arm as there's no point asking GOSL approval for humanitarian access as they will definately oppose on that because GOSL 's will rather kills the Tamilians than helping them.

johnny   February 22nd, 2010 4:26 pm ET

why the UN and ICC issue arrest warrant for omar al bashir of sudan, when notorious criminals like rajapakse and his brother is enjoying over the ethnic cleansing of tamils in sri lanka, why does the inter national community keep silence in sri lankan issue?

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