A group of Sri Lankan fans had their drums and flags taken off them in the crowd – both of which they’ve used in Eden Park before, and entered the park with, no problem. “They said it’s a rule of Eden Park but it feels very different because last world cup which was just last year, we took the same drums to Eden Park and then Wellington as well, so why the big difference now.”“We come here to enjoy it, this is a fan base. If you don’t like us to bring drums then you should make a Sri Lankan fanzone so we can bring drums and stuff to that area, and then we can enjoy.”Shirly Goonathilaka said the security asked for him to shorten his flag pole which he did, but it was still taken off him because it could “injure” someone. Witnesses have reportedly seen Sri Lankan fans being escorted from the ground by police and security guards. Dilini Wijesinghe said everyone was enjoying the drums, but they still had them confiscated without any proper explanation.“It just sort of feel like it’s racist. I’m really sorry but you know, that’s how I felt because we were enjoying it. If we did something illegal, that’s perfectly fine, take it away.” Spectator Hayden Eastmond-Mein, said the security were being over the top and taking extreme measures.“The big group of Sri Lankans they were targeting were just having a good time and providing most of the atmosphere in what can be a pretty dull stadium”To add insult to injury, the half-time entertainment was a group of samba drummers who walked straight past the group of Sri Lankan fans, he said.“I don’t blame the individual guards, they’re obviously just following inflexible rules that are supposedly about safety – but they just serve to make Eden Park a dull, fun-free zone.”A spectator, who didn’t want to be named, said security guards were hanging around a group of Sri Lankan supporters near the boundary. About six of them had been evicted.“They seem loud but well behaved and self contained,” he said.Police communications staff said they did not have any information about the reported incidents. (Colombo Gazette) New Zealand police have been accused of treating Sri Lankan cricket fans unfairly by removing some of them for playing music during the New Zealand vs Sri Lanka Twenty20 cricket match at Eden Park today.Twitter and Facebook are rife with accusations security guards are acting as the “fun police” and being too hard on fans, confiscating musical instruments and kicking people out, stuff.co.nz reported. “Cricket is about festivities, its about fun, it’s about the terraces, it’s about having a good time,” he said.“It was disappointing to see them get in trouble, get their drums confiscated and they actually create an atmosphere, you know.”It’s embarrassing he said. There were no dramas, everyone loved the atmosphere – and they weren’t the only people who had brought support. Hayden Wilson who was sitting near the group said as a New Zealand European, it was disappointing.
(Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland)It’s not just the cities that are gearing up for winter conditions. Over in the west of the country, Clare County Council says it is has access to more than 3,000 tonnes of rock salt to treat the county’s roads during the coming winter, with one third of the salt stock already in storage after it was held over from last year.An additional 2,000 tonnes of salt is available to the council to draw down when required from the NRA and the Department of Transport (DTTAS), they said.In 2009 and 2010, the country experienced a cold snap putting many council workers under pressure as temperatures reached sub-zero conditions. The cold weather lasted for longer than expected pushing the country’s salt stock to its limits.This year will be the first time the county’s motorway and dual carriageways will be treated directly by the National Roads Authority, which assumed responsibility for the National Motorway Network earlier this year.Let’s hope other local authorities follow suit, and that this is not ahead of us:(YouTube/The Hrustin)WATCH: Your 30-second guide to driving in the snow>Read: What would happen if all the ice melted? Well, we’d be waving goodbye to most of Connacht> SOME LOCAL AUTHORITIES are learning from mistakes made in the past and are preparing for the possibility of a cold winter ahead.Dublin City Council said they are well prepared for any possible icy conditions and have tonnes of salt in storage and in reserve in case the cold snap of 2009 and 2010 return.Dublin City Council said that the Roads and Traffic Department operates a Severe Weather Response Programme between mid October and mid April.This programme involves treating more than 300 kilometres of the city’s main roads when they are affected by snow and ice. “Prioritising these means that emergency services can operate, businesses remain open and other essential public services can operate,” said a spokesperson for the council.As part of this response the council said it has approximately 2,200 tonnes of salt, an increase from 1,700 tonnes in 2010.“We can also call on an allocation of 1,700 tonnes from the National Roads Authority (NRA). A further 500 tonnes of fine salt is reserves for treating footpaths,” said the spokesperson.