UK government was alerted

The British government and Scotland Yard had been alerted two days ahead of the Sri Lanka vs. India ICC Champions Trophy match held last Thursday in Cardiff, that there was a threat to the Sri Lankan cricket team from LTTE supporters in England, The Sunday Leader reported today.

External Affairs Ministry Secretary Karunatilaka Amunugama said that a report has now been sought to check if there had been a security lapse on the part of Britain to prevent LTTE supporters from getting close to the Sri Lanka cricket team members.

LTTE supporters carrying anti-government placards and LTTE flags stormed the cricket grounds during the Sri Lankan innings and later the Indian innings and had to be restrained after they got close to the players.

After the match the Sri Lankan cricket team bus was blocked by more LTTE supporters before they were cleared by the police.

Media reports said that at least 400 protesters stood barely 500 yards away from the team pavilion which was cordoned off by security men. No protests were shown to the Indian team and their bus left as scheduled Amunugama said that the British police had arrested some of the protestors but the Sri Lankan government wants to see if the team was given adequate security based on the security threat.

NDTV reported that a security guard, who did not want to be quoted, said the protestors had slipped in as Indian supporters, draping themselves in the tri-colour. “It was impossible to recognize them because 90 percent of the fans today were Indians,” he said.

The International Cricket Council was caught off-guard. The matches in the tournament had been peaceful till last Thursday’s incident with each team being provided with at least three body guards as per anti-corruption and security norms. Claire Gatcum of the England and Wales Cricket Board told NDTV the police was investigating the case and there were no comments to be made.The protestors who invaded the pitch were arrested and could face fines up to 1000 GBP each, NDTV added.

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