The Hambantota bidding committee for the 2018 Commonwealth games said today, that Sri Lanka did not want a pity vote instead was willing to compete on the merits of its bid.
Australian media claimed that many developing nations would vote for Sri Lanka based on “political reasons”. However Chief Executive Officer of the Hambantota bidding committee Nalin Attygala told the Daily Mirror that such statements were unfounded. “There must be no underestimation of any developing country, especially with regards to the preparations for the Commonwealth games. Sri Lanka is not seeking sympathy votes instead the votes we receive will be based on merit,” he said.
The Border mail also quoted Chief Executive of the Gold Coast 2018 bid Mark Peters as saying that after the difficulties in Delhi in 2010, Hambantota was a risk. “We never benchmarked ourselves to Delhi and from the beginning we said that we were looking at the Kuala Lumpur Games, Malaysia. We considered the economic developed that Malaysia obtained during the 1990’s and the state of its economy prior to the games,” Attygala said.
He added that it was unfortunate that another Commonwealth country was running down a voting nation. “We didn’t compare ourselves with our neighbor because India is too big, but it is surprising that the Australians would run down another voting country such as India,” he said. Attygala further stated that Sri Lanka looked at the Gold Coast as a legitimate competitor and would not resort to undermining their efforts.
Attygala expressed that by 2016 Hambantota would prove to be a state of the art facility. “The games will be held in 2018 but by 2016 we will prove that we are well equipped to host the games. Additionally we will have the unique advantage of having 15 of the 17 sports within one complex,” he said. (Dianne Silva)