The sports minister in Sri Lanka has vowed to continue bidding for more international sporting events despite the failure to secure 2018 Commonwealth Games in Hambantota.
Sri Lanka lost to Australia’s Gold Coast in Saint Kitts last year, after a lengthy bidding process spending Rs. 880 million.
But Sports Minister Mahindananada Aluthgamage told BBC Sinhala service that it was a “successful bid” but failed to secure enough votes due to “internal politics in the Commonwealth.”
“Our bid was very successful, but the way selection happened favours certain group of countries,” he said.
The minister who initially told BBC Sandeshaya that only Rs. 100 million has been spent for the bid, later admitted that the whole cost amounted to Rs. 880 million.
“What I said was that the state only spent Rs. 100 million and we receive the rest from private banks and companies,” said the minister.
Initially minister said state banks also funded the campaign but later retracted the comment.
Minister Aluthgamage, however, did not name the private companies that provided funding for the bid.
He also rejected the suggestion that the country would have faced a serious economic crisis if the Hambantota was granted the Games, especially after Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) faced a financial crisis after co-hosting cricket World Cup.
“SLC was not bankrupt after the WC. It is only the hypocrites who spread that idea.”
He also stressed that rival Australia spent three times as much as Sri Lanka for the winning bid though the Gold Coast’s delegation was only 20, compared to Sri Lanka’s 160 delegates. (BBC)
In the recent Commonwealth Cup cricket tournament I saw that the minister was also a VIP spectator in Australia. I wonder why does he has to come. Why job has he to do at the matches ? Shouldn't he be in his office attending to sports work which is not only cricket. Is'not it enough the coaches and the team being present ? And how many of his family and friends cam a long with him. How much did that cost. And how many more foreign trips will he take like this in the years to come. Are these necessary. It seems to me that he is there as the minister just to order who should be in the team and take free tours!
Riyazi-Dorking Tuesday, 03 April 2012 12:56 AM
What mega sports ?? We had 4 athletes acheived the Olmpic qualifying target in 2008 (Chinthana Vithanage(Weight Lifting),Anuruddha Ratnayake(Boxing),Nadeeka Lakmali( Javeline),Thilini Jayasinghe (Badminton) and this time only two are going on wild card. improve on those first and then think about hosting mega or micro events !
Upul Tuesday, 03 April 2012 06:30 AM
Have fun Mr Minister. We are there to pay the bills no matter what !!!
lankashantha Tuesday, 03 April 2012 12:57 AM
Train our Athletes and bring Gold medals. This will automatically bring games here. If you have good football players they will bring more money as salary than your games. Wake up dreamer.
chris Tuesday, 03 April 2012 01:27 AM
minister, are they not able to guage the mood of the people or are they lost in their utopian dreams.... but they might not understand the message !!!!
Lanka Lion- Sydney Tuesday, 03 April 2012 01:49 AM
Gold Coast is a vibrant city and already had all the infrastructure in place. It was not wise for Sri Lanka to have competed with Gold Coast in the first place. An utter waste of public money.
Deshapremiya Tuesday, 03 April 2012 06:55 AM
We are already there
Just Another Citizen Tuesday, 03 April 2012 02:07 AM
He means waste more money on building useless structures & more overseas trips for them.
Wara Tuesday, 03 April 2012 03:30 AM
Lalith Monday, 02 April 2012 03:51 PM
Yeah, go for it; we have sufficient resources now for those...
dalu bandalu Monday, 02 April 2012 04:07 PM
Whoi will pay millions of dollars?
Bigfoot Monday, 02 April 2012 03:49 PM
The country is in a economic mess. What is he talking about?
Fayad Monday, 02 April 2012 04:17 PM
Who will bear the cost ???
Mr Retort Monday, 02 April 2012 03:59 PM
Picnics for the bandwaggon to Carrebian, Geneva and where next. Never mind country loose - we are winners . Join the cabinet to see the world
Citizen Silva Monday, 02 April 2012 04:29 PM
Please NO! No more tamashas - we simply cannot afford it.Any jaunt you want, please fund from your own pocket.
We can expect more tax's coming soon people has to suffer more
MI Monday, 02 April 2012 05:09 PM
NO win NO fee
Fusion Monday, 02 April 2012 05:03 PM
Rs. 880 million on a failed bid?! And they want to bid for more white-elephants? My headache just got worse...
Calistus Jayatilleke Monday, 02 April 2012 04:53 PM
It is obvious who the real hypocrite is: these Ministers cant even participate in an interview without resorting to falsehoods thinking that their only audience or viewers are the usual crowd who vote for them.
Rosh Monday, 02 April 2012 04:58 PM
Chicago Bulls in Sri Lanka
Deva Monday, 02 April 2012 05:35 PM
next time spend 10,000 million. because we r here to bare that cost.
kalum Monday, 02 April 2012 05:15 PM
what else can you expect from a government run by corrupt despots & buffalos !
Ruhunu Kolla Monday, 02 April 2012 05:21 PM
One by one ministers of the Wonder Of Asia are falling sick, I mean mentally, first Wimal with his anti American stand, Bandula with his 7500 business, now Aluthgamage with mega sports events, who is NEXT?
Dinithi Monday, 02 April 2012 05:21 PM
Yes, Australia paid 3 times as us to enhance the quality of the bid...not to feed '160 delegates'. Almost 1 Billion for a bid that we lost? With that money we could have reduced the fule price to an extent. What is soo annoying is this guy's arrogance. Who are the idiots who voted this guy to the parliament? Big mouth and no brain.
Comedy Central Tuesday, 03 April 2012 04:08 AM
Look at Greece - the economic downfall after Olympics.. we can't go there
lk Monday, 02 April 2012 05:49 PM
u bid, our money. not from your pocket.
Renu Monday, 02 April 2012 05:58 PM
Easy way to make money
Sammy Tuesday, 03 April 2012 06:05 AM
Cannot these funds be used to subsidise prices of essential goods, so that the poor are benefited.
garawi Tuesday, 03 April 2012 12:21 AM
Yeah sure , why not! Then 120 people can take foreign tours and holidays at the expense of the tax payer. 800 million last time and who knows how much it will cost now. The development projects like stadia should be constructed after making sure that there is a demand. Sri Lanka does the other way. First create and look for business. Well, at least this will keep the minister and the 120 in business!
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