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SL lose bid to host Commonwealth Games in 2018

12 November 2011 01:44 am - 99     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


The Gold Coast was hot favourite to out-muscle Hambantota and is counting on using the Games to restore lustre to an image battered by downturns in tourism and property and the wrong kind of publicity about its crime rate.

Premier Anna Bligh is also keen for a win as she gears up for a state election due early next year that is odds-on to deliver a change of government.

When the result was announced, Ms. Bligh threw her arms into the air and cried out with joy.

“It's been a very very close vote and there's a good choice we weren't going to make it. We had seven rehearsals, we've had 15 meetings, we've lobbied everybody, there hasn't been much sleep,” the blushing premier said immediately after the announcement.

“I'm so proud of this team, I'm so proud of the Gold Coast, I'm so proud of being a Queenslander tonight.”

A meeting of the 71 Commonwealth nations on the Caribbean Island of St. Kitts this morning was decided by a vote of 43 to 27 in the Gold Coast's favour.

Commonwealth Games President Michael Fennell of Jamaica was not required to exercise his casting vote.

A close vote was anticipated after 11th-hour lobbying by Sri Lanka including an impassioned address by President Mahinda Rajapaksa on the sidelines of last month's Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Perth.

SportsBet was last night paying $1.50 on a Gold Coast win, compared with $2.50 for Hambantota.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard offered her congratulations to Gold Coast and Queensland.

Reacting to the news today in Hawaii, where she is attending a meeting of leaders of the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation group, Ms. Gillard said the honour would provide a great economic opportunity for the Gold Coast and for Queensland.

"Congratulations Queensland," Ms. Gillard said. "Absolutely great news. This is a fantastic achievement. All Australians will be looking forward to hosting the Commonwealth Games but this is going to be a particular delight to the people of the Gold Coast and the people of Queensland."
The Prime Minister said Australia had always done "a fantastic job" when hosting international events.

"We bring to it our sense of sportspersonship and fairness, our sense of fun and engagement."

As taxpayers are to foot 56 per cent of the Gold Coast games' proposed $1.97bn budget, plus any overruns, questions are being asked as to whether the economic benefits outweigh the cost.

RMIT University sports economist Mark Stewart said extensive research on major sporting events, including the Sydney Olympics, showed such spectacles "very rarely" reaped economic benefits across a whole economy.

"So why do cities bid for them? There is research that shows major events result in a great amount of happiness, so politicians are probably seizing on this potential for their political ends," Mr. Stewart said.

Ms. Bligh has touted the games as a "once-in-a-generation opportunity" to transform the Gold Coast, citing the 1982 Brisbane Commonwealth Games. That event -- remembered for swimmer Tracey Wickham, marathon runner Robert de Castella and Matilda the winking kangaroo -- left Queenslanders "assets" such as the 49,000-capacity QEII Stadium, which once hosted the Brisbane Broncos but now caters mostly to school carnivals and audience-free training sessions.

This week, the stadium was so eerily quiet that Griffith University students such as Racheal Watt sat their yearly exams in the venues' function rooms.

"The government keeps saying it doesn't have enough money for more hospital beds and more nurses, but that's what we need and that's where the money should be going instead," said the 22-year-old trainee nurse. "I've only ever been here for school athletics and exams, so it's not being used for what it was built for."

Jim Soorley, Brisbane's lord mayor from 1991 to 2003, said his administration "spent millions of dollars propping up and maintaining old, depreciating Commonwealth Games facilities" until the state government "thankfully" had assumed liability for the venues. "The Commonwealth Games are archaic. They're a relic of the past with absolutely no significance nowadays. That there are only two cities bidding for the event proves that."

Stadiums Queensland's Cobey Moore said it was unfair to judge QEII's worth by 1982 standards, saying its purpose had now changed to a community venue.

Queensland Treasury was unable to say when, or if, the 1982 games debt was actually paid off, due to the passage of time and changes in accounting practices.

Hambantota's budget anticipated a spend of only $652m, with Sri Lankan authorities subsidising 66 per cent of the proposed cost.

The Gold Coast will be the fifth Australian city and the first of our regional cities to host the games. Sydney was the first to have that honour, hosting the then British Empire Games in 1938, followed by Perth (in 1962), Brisbane (1982) and Melbourne (2006). (Source: The Australian)
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  Comments - 99

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  • NPK Saturday, 12 November 2011 04:40 AM

    Sri Lanka should know about their limits, before the host this we have enough problems needs to be resolved. Good lessons for politicians

    had enough Saturday, 12 November 2011 04:49 AM

    Even Australians are questioned whether these games are ANY good for the economy. How about a poor coubtry like SL. Ruling family does not need anybodys viewes. sole purpose of this expensive exersise is to bossting the image of rulers and there families. Sri lanke woud have fallen from poor to ultra poor. good on you Ausies you saved Sri lankan people

    Priyantha Saturday, 12 November 2011 04:54 AM

    Good ...Many more things to do in SL other than Common wealth

    patriot Saturday, 12 November 2011 04:53 AM


    Ian D.S Saturday, 12 November 2011 04:55 AM

    Thank God sanity has prevailed.

    Mishra Saturday, 12 November 2011 04:59 AM

    Even though we lost, there is a posititve news for SL people. Now at least the development money will be distributed to all over sri lanka rather than one place.

    Raja Saturday, 12 November 2011 05:24 AM

    Tax payers like us won while those who expected to skim off millions lost.

    Mahinda Wijekoon Dub Saturday, 12 November 2011 05:25 AM

    Thank God,
    Sanity prevailed.God has saved Sri Lanka from the henchman eating the tax payers money.Otherwise what a waist of money for so called commonwewalth games. where are these commonwealth countries now.
    Queen has lost the so called kingdom longtime baqck.

    galbanis Saturday, 12 November 2011 05:28 AM

    A blessing in disguise ??

    Sheriff Saturday, 12 November 2011 05:31 AM

    thanks to god we are saved. otherwise we may have to bear up all the blunders game play by politicians

    Dammika Saturday, 12 November 2011 05:32 AM

    First develop Sri Lanka and the people of Sri Lanka (Not only Hambanthota)

    sandman Saturday, 12 November 2011 05:36 AM

    While saddened by this as a Lankan, but, also thankful, this would be such a collosal expense at a very difficult time economically for the country. Only certain individuals and establishments would have benefited immensely on this event. The ordinary business people would have also benefited, this is indeed sad, but, it is good that this was not awarded to Sri Lanka. The politics of individuals have affected the outcome of this award.

    ldesilva Saturday, 12 November 2011 05:40 AM

    CONGRADS AUSTRALIA!! And well done Gold Coast!! This is one instance we Sri Lankans are relived beyond words to award this victory to Australia!! Thank you Commonwealth nations and delegates for voting wisely! Over here in Sri Lanka we are cheering you guys!!

    loku Saturday, 12 November 2011 04:34 PM


    upulkarupul Saturday, 12 November 2011 05:44 AM

    Now UNP and other opposition parties will have a sigh of relief and talk against the mother land and ridicule it for the defeat and also can keep lull on the colossal expenditure of the event. If won to host the games it will be waste of money and if not can talk about the unpopularity of the country. Double standard.

    Suresh Saturday, 12 November 2011 04:38 PM

    Then why was the photo taken with the Queen displayed with pride?

    saman Saturday, 12 November 2011 06:11 AM

    So far, we lost three games, Cricket World Cup 2007 & 2011 and now Commonwealth Game

    esses Saturday, 12 November 2011 06:27 AM

    very good news great relife Saturday, 12 November 2011 06:15 PM

    This is the best one :)

    greenarrow Monday, 14 November 2011 03:02 AM

    It is sad how ppl in SL think so negative about something that could have kept us right on top of the world.
    some ppl even say we should NOT aim to be a S'pore..or we should know our! with a mind set like that we will only go back in time and economy.
    It is not the govt who try to rebuild the county who should be blamed... it is the negative general public who think so negatively and contribute nothing to the to the ecomony but expect everything to fall into their laps that should be blamed!

    yoga Saturday, 12 November 2011 07:04 AM

    the reason for not giving visa is known to every many of them will return...even our sportsmen did not return after attending the events....

    Packian Saturday, 12 November 2011 09:03 PM

    This decision to host the games by Gold Coast is a blessing in disguise.A part of the proposed expenditure should be utilised to identify and train promising young athletes by provision of training facilities and personnel, so that sri lanka can win medals in future events. As of now, only Duncan White and Susanthka hold them.

    comeon Saturday, 12 November 2011 07:11 AM

    Sri Lanka becoming another Malysia or Singapore? What a silly thought? It will more likely become like Congo

    Zacky Saturday, 12 November 2011 07:20 AM

    Childish Opinion..................

    Vidura Jayaweera Sunday, 13 November 2011 12:56 AM

    Great Victory for the poor tax payers of Sri Lanka.

    Neil Saturday, 12 November 2011 07:33 AM

    NEXT ... Olympics in Medamulana

    Gamarala Saturday, 12 November 2011 07:35 AM

    It was obvious, that biding for these games was a political decision for image building. Going by the comments above, lots of Sri Lankans following what is happening elsewhere in the world, are relieved that we lost the bid. Let’s wait for the Government version to see how this news is presented to the electorate.

    dayad Saturday, 12 November 2011 07:43 AM

    We are loosing every thing in a row including CWG 2018,Test series with Pakistan and awaiting to to loose the ODI series also to Pakistan. WoW

    Veera Putha Sunday, 13 November 2011 02:52 AM

    Finest news of the 2011 for Sri Lankans

    meranchim Sunday, 13 November 2011 03:45 AM

    public fund loss, not safe ,spend for delegation millions rupees for the promotion and their daily expenditure....i

    Birbaal Saturday, 12 November 2011 08:13 AM

    We saved many Billions after spending many millions.

    citizen1 Monday, 14 November 2011 04:43 AM

    No disguise! Just a pure blessing.

    Naveen Saturday, 12 November 2011 08:44 AM

    What a relief to poor Srilankans.

    comeon Saturday, 12 November 2011 08:50 AM

    That explains why we can never be a Malaysia or Singapore

    Mac Sunday, 13 November 2011 06:32 AM comment...

    philip Saturday, 12 November 2011 09:03 AM

    Remember that Delhi in one of the world's poorest nations hosted the last games. Remember too that most of the countries who voted last night were also poor countries. Please stop blaming the affluent countries for your problems.

    jterm Saturday, 12 November 2011 09:38 AM

    sri lanka is never going to be another singapore or malaysia anytime soon. Not as long as we pass bills that can illegally steal private business assets!

    camilo Saturday, 12 November 2011 09:49 AM

    43 country's support by us. thks. our economy will go up............

    loku Sunday, 13 November 2011 09:45 AM

    Sri Lanka is not ready to be another Singapore--I would imagine that the many millions of Singapore are not looking for ways to leave.

    Man B Saturday, 12 November 2011 01:54 AM

    our money got safe!

    Tony Saturday, 12 November 2011 01:58 AM

    It baffles me to justify how on earth the same affluent countries are given the chance to host these games over and over…Isn’t these games meant to unite people and bring the masses together. How many people from the so called third world nations will be given visas to visit the Gold Coast to watch 2018 games unless you can produce million rupee bank balances and multi million worth of assets ? I think it is time to review that nations like Sri Lanka should be a part of these games meant for the affluent. Hegemony still exists. If the idea is to build emerging nations and encourage them to the forefront then
    Nations that did not favour Sri Lanka must think twice. Even the hosting of Commonwealth Head of State meeting was delayed till 2013 because of the influence of powerful nations within. How long will they dictate terms to poor nations to act , the way they think is right only. Some powerful nations don’t want Sri Lanka to be another Malaysia or Singapore.

    Bindu Saturday, 12 November 2011 01:59 AM

    Shall we try the Jaffna for 2022 Games?

    Tilan Saturday, 12 November 2011 10:03 AM

    Ha ha ha...thank God.

    TI Saturday, 12 November 2011 01:57 AM

    deviyan apage moona baluwa IIFA ta passe

    Mahesh Saturday, 12 November 2011 02:02 AM

    Thank Gods we didn't get it

    jcr Saturday, 12 November 2011 02:11 AM

    sri lankas economy saved!

    sue Saturday, 12 November 2011 02:16 AM

    Thank God for small mercies as otherwise we poor Sri Lankans would have been burdened with those costs as well while the VIP's enjoyed the benefits.

    anil de silva Saturday, 12 November 2011 02:16 AM

    or its great relife to mothor lanka

    jakolis Saturday, 12 November 2011 10:32 AM

    No men...Our big money got safe...already Millions are spent on Marketing Hambanthota Bid....that's gone in waters....we lost that money...It seems for our Hambanthota people those $ Millions paid for Marketing company is peanuts...Government could have instead spent those $ Millions to develop Hambanthota..

    Patriot Saturday, 12 November 2011 02:19 AM

    Sri Lanka is purely lucky!

    Sena Saturday, 12 November 2011 02:22 AM

    As a poor Sri Lankan I thank all nations whoes are vote against Sri Lanka due to avoid collaspe our economy.If we spend such huge money noone will suffer,only poor ankan will bare the expences.

    True Srilankan Saturday, 12 November 2011 02:23 AM

    sad as well as its good thing to happen, saving of tax payers money.........................

    Releived tax payer Saturday, 12 November 2011 02:23 AM

    Winning the bid brings happiness only for ambitious politicians and their image but not the taxpayers who have to fund the tamasha.All Sri lanka taxpayers should party tonight.

    remedy Saturday, 12 November 2011 02:26 AM

    DM please add this ,,
    QUEENSLAND'S Gold Coast has won the rights to host the 2018 Commonwealth Games - and the $1.1bn debt that comes with it - with a solid victory over a tsunami-ravaged port in Sri Lanka

    Hasitha Saturday, 12 November 2011 02:29 AM

    this news makes me sad as well as happy at the same time.

    Kurulla Saturday, 12 November 2011 02:31 AM

    " Not Happy" as Sri Lanka lost the opportunity, though in a way
    "Happy" knowing that no funds going down the drain for this extravaganza.

    Friend Saturday, 12 November 2011 02:33 AM

    Hapoy dan itin olympic ekatawath try karamu

    jude_thisera Saturday, 12 November 2011 02:37 AM

    Hard luck SL ;( Lets not be disappointed, but let's learn from the past and achieve the best in future!!

    rohan Sunday, 13 November 2011 12:41 PM

    Sure.... we shoul let Zimbabwe host Commonwelth games and North orea host Olympics.

    joppa Saturday, 12 November 2011 02:41 AM

    Very sad news for Sri Lanka, But good effort, lets clean the crime and corruption in Sri Lanka, this will a bench Mark.

    MI Sunday, 13 November 2011 01:11 PM

    I don't understand why SL needs to become a ML or SING, I think we as Sri Lankan's need to believe SL can achieve its own potential. We have so much more than those countries, just lack the belief.

    Also, the CWG would have been a good opportunity for the world to see the true beauty and scrap away the hideous outlook that has been left over SL by the alleged war crimes. I think this is a shame, we didn't lose because QE was better, we lost because we didn't pull together as a single nation.

    izmie Saturday, 12 November 2011 02:46 AM

    Foregone conclution so how about trying the next Olympic games.

    Sampath Saturday, 12 November 2011 02:46 AM

    Unlucky. Forget about that now and try to work something else.

    sach Saturday, 12 November 2011 02:48 AM

    Thank God or Allah

    Lankan Saturday, 12 November 2011 02:53 AM

    Why are we members of a commonwealth when there is no British Empire

    mike pereira Saturday, 12 November 2011 11:48 AM

    A blessing in disguise

    anandi Saturday, 12 November 2011 11:56 AM



    Vina Sunday, 13 November 2011 01:38 PM

    You have not seen the world and you do not know what is democracy.Please study both and then you will evaluate the
    position of sri lanka in the world map. Sri lanka is a very very
    poor country living on borrowed loan at heavy interest.Other side
    selling land to china to fill the depleted treasury.More importantly there is no rule of law.Which develop nation in the
    world will send their people to a land where there is no rule of

    Amanthi Saturday, 12 November 2011 03:00 AM

    This is actually good news for me. I have always been under the impression that this would have meant disaster for Sri Lanka due to 3 reasons.
    1 we would have gone down like Greece after Olympics economically.
    2. Vast Acres of forest land and animal habitat would have been destroyed - including Elephant Habitats which are dwindling by the day
    3. The infra will be of no use there on - waste of money.

    If the bid was for a existing facility as in Colombo, Avissawella, Kandy etc, where the destruction & Expenditure would have been less, I would have fully supported it.

    Thamilan Saturday, 12 November 2011 12:22 PM

    Justice prevailing!

    Jodie Saturday, 12 November 2011 03:01 AM

    Ayyo - Sin for all those who were waiting to earn some commissions !

    Mahinda Saturday, 12 November 2011 03:08 AM

    Oh.....God saved Sri Lanka

    sahan Saturday, 12 November 2011 03:11 AM

    Lessons should be learnt for the future. The slide presentation of Australia was far more impressive than Sri Lanka.

    Citizen Saturday, 12 November 2011 03:15 AM

    Thank you for saving Sri Lanka !!

    SS Saturday, 12 November 2011 03:19 AM

    We spent lot of money going for the bid. However, we saved even more by not winning the bid.

    Kenny G Saturday, 12 November 2011 03:17 AM

    Phew That was close.

    RasikaJ Sunday, 13 November 2011 03:28 PM

    I am just glad. For the saving of wild life, because of this.

    Plus was puzzled, on who will use these facilities after the event, in the scorching heat in hambantota.

    Just couldn't imagine, practicing for 100m ( or any other sport) in that heat?
    while having so many better locations for this type of investment in sri lanka, The Idea seems so pathetic. So sad....

    Sporty Saturday, 12 November 2011 03:19 AM

    Well, thank god that this debt is not coming to sri lanka. Sri Lanka was the only country to make a loss after the world cup, just imagine what the loss would be after an event of this magnitude.

    roshan Saturday, 12 November 2011 03:20 AM

    Thank god. lots of money saved..

    Ramesh Saturday, 12 November 2011 03:21 AM

    Thank god....

    YURI Saturday, 12 November 2011 03:25 AM

    we are losing everything one by one

    Upali Doha Saturday, 12 November 2011 03:26 AM

    Thank you wewa.....we are saved .....

    Big Ears Saturday, 12 November 2011 03:29 AM

    Thanks. We poor Sri Lankans will not have any additional tax burdens.

    Nihal Amarasekera Saturday, 12 November 2011 03:28 AM

    Hard luck & bucks.

    jacoob Saturday, 12 November 2011 03:35 AM

    These people lost the oppertunity to have it in Sri lanka .. now sri lanks has to bid for olympics .. then only those who voted for gold coast will learn.. what do they think about sri lanka ..

    I Hussein Saturday, 12 November 2011 03:48 AM

    Actual winners are the Srilankans we didnt loose anything in fact.
    This is the best news I heard since CMC results.

    Regit Silva Saturday, 12 November 2011 01:37 PM

    You must be crazy to think that Sri Lanka will ever become like Singapore or Malaysia. Those countries had very strong leaders, leaders with vision. Sri Lanka's leader has no vision and is robbing the poor. Have pity on the middle class. Sri Lanka does not need the CG to develop. They need Better universities, hospitals and transport systems first.

    sxhabeeb Saturday, 12 November 2011 03:47 AM

    Lesons to be lernt...

    S.samsudeen Saturday, 12 November 2011 01:35 PM

    great !!! at least we can live happily till 2018,, thanks Murali,,,

    Kamil Saturday, 12 November 2011 01:40 PM

    We don't have money . We would have ended up like Greece if we were to host this. China would have swallowed us up.

    Kaslana Saturday, 12 November 2011 01:41 PM

    Tony, how many countries can you name that elevated themselves from the third wold by making hateful speech of the West, their policies and whites as evil conspirators as we do.

    cecil p Saturday, 12 November 2011 03:54 AM

    Brought down to earth!


    anura Saturday, 12 November 2011 03:58 AM

    Congratulations Australia . I think Sri Lanka had a narrow escape from getting this mega event . With the debt we are handling at the moment with Sri Lanka Cricket etc. it is only a joke to think about this type of mega events. Sri Lanka would have have gone from bad to worse economically if we were awarded the commonwealth games 2018.

    palithaeka Saturday, 12 November 2011 03:56 AM

    Thanks to organizers. Sri Lanka has escape from a economic problem.

    hellboy Saturday, 12 November 2011 02:37 PM

    what a relief...blessing in disguise...!!!!v were never in a position to spend that much of a huge amount while there are much more things to do ..,

    Ruwan Saturday, 12 November 2011 04:00 AM

    Thanks god for saving the poor tax payers in Lanka.

    Ruwan Saturday, 12 November 2011 04:01 AM

    This is all expected news. It's too early for Sri Lanka to compete for mega events like these. Sri Lanka still got to prove lots of things before going this far.

    Calistus Jayatilleke Saturday, 12 November 2011 04:24 AM

    Thank Heavens, the country was spared of a big financial disaster. The only loss is deflated egos of the VIPs who wanted to bask on the glory and international spotlight and their minions who wanted to make a fast buck at the expense of the public. Why not now think of spending those billions earmarked for the Tamasha on the needs of the poor citizens..

    GSK Saturday, 12 November 2011 04:23 AM

    5bn US savings...ppl r saved fm the impact of inflation, COL and curruption, still a huge victory for the ppl here n SL !!

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