Big guns for Games

Saturday, 25 June 2011 01:45 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

The Government has roped in several big guns in the business world to market Sri Lanka’s bid for the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

Five ‘Bid Awareness Sub Committees’ have been set up with mandates to concentrate on different regions – Asia, America and Europe, Oceania, Caribbean and Africa.

Premier blue chip JKH Chairman Susantha Ratnayake who is also Chairman Tea Board is heading the Asia region Sub Committee whilst business leader Dhammika Perera who is also Secretary Ministry of Transport has been assigned to create awareness and market Sri Lanka’s bid in the African region. Shermans Logistics Chairman Eshana de Silva who is billed to be new Chairman of the Board of Investment, is looking after the Oceania Region. The other two regions America and Europe has been assigned to EDB Chairman Janaka Ratnayake whilst HNB Chairperson Rani Jayamaha will look after the Caribbean Region.

The Hambantota 2018 Organising Committee Secretariat said yesterday that the Sub Committees would enhance the awareness of Sri Lanka’s bid in their respective regions.

In a related development, the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) Executive Board appointed Evaluation Commission (EC) will visit Sri Lanka on Monday and the commission is scheduled to remain in Sri Lanka till 30 June.

“While in Sri Lanka, they are due to formally review the contents of the Hambantota candidature file as well as participate at a series of presentations, meetings and onsite visits,” the Secretariat said.

At the end of the visits to the two Candidate Cities, Hambantota and Gold Coast, the commission is expected to produce a technical report that examines each city against the Games requirements. The commission would also determine the merits or otherwise of each bid proposition and ultimately highlight any issues and risks which may arise set against Games requirements as set out within the Candidate City Manual.

The EC was appointed to assess the candidatures of the two Candidate Cities – Gold Coast, Australia and Hambantota, Sri Lanka.

The EC comprises technically sound personnel on the themes specified in the Candidate City Manual.

On Thursday Reuters reported that the bid by Australia’s Gold Coast to host the 2018 Commonwealth Games was described as “sound” after a visit by the evaluation commission.


The subtropical beachside region of Queensland is going up against the Sri Lankan port of Hambantota as it bids to bring the Games to Australia for the fifth time.

“We can tell you that the proposition of staging the Commonwealth Games in the Gold Coast is an exciting one and appears, based on our initial analysis, to be sound,” commission leader Louise Martin said in a news release.

“Not only does it appear that the basic infrastructure requirements can be met, it also seems that in meeting these Games requirements important legacies can be generated for the city and region.”

The decision over the host city for the 2018 Games will be made on Nov. 11 in St Kitts and Nevis. The 2014 Games will be held in Glasgow, Scotland.