‘C’wealth Games bid showcased the country to the world’
The Commonwealth Games 2018 bid concluded last week which enabled Sri
Lanka to showcase its venue along with exposing the country in to many
economical and cultural gains the benefits which the whole country could
accrue in the near future, said Governor of Central Bank Sri Lanka and
the co-chairman of the Committee, Commonwealth Games 2018, Ajith Nivard
Cabraal at a press conference last week.
The Central Bank Governor explained the process that they underwent
to take part in the bidding for Commonwealth 2018.
“When preparing the bidding proposal we have paid much attention to
several areas such as political and cultural structure, legal aspects,
immigration formalities, environment, marketing, sports and venues,
medical services, security and accommodation, transport and media
situation in the country.
This research helped us deliver a better picture of Hambantota
district to the world,”
“During CHOGM we emphasised the success story of Malaysia then with
the same economic condition as Sri Lanka, and when they won the bid as
the official host country to the Commonwealth Games the tremendous
development they achieved by winning the bid in 1998. With that
explanation we could show to the world we are capable enough to host
Most of the international and local reports showed an optimistic view
point about Sri Lanka and also the bid was a remarkable occasion that we
could showcase and promote Sri Lanka to more than 70 countries across
the world and to international media,” he said.
“So far Australia has hosted the Commonwealth Games four times and
they are very much familiar with hosting international sports events.
They are also quite established in terms of infrastructure
development and other economical conditions.
We have stressed the importance of giving an opportunity for a
developing country like us to host this event, when considering the huge
development potential which would automatically generate with this type
So far, there have been twenty Commonwealth Games during the past two
decades and out of twenty, seventeen events were held in four countries,
that are Australia, Canada, New Zealand and Jamaica, and only thrice
have Asian countries got the opportunity to win the bid.
Therefore, we highlighted the importance of getting this opportunity
for new emerging countries without focusing the responsibility only on
This could give more meaning to equality and democracy. However, it
was a great privilege for us to be the other contesting party and though
we lost the games bid we could prove to the world that we are a country
who can reach the next level.” We also showed that particularly in this
type of events the organising committee offers a seven year preparation
period to get ready for the event.
Therefore, there is no need to be prepared at the time of bidding and
we have shown the seven year plan that we had planned to complete all
the necessary infrastructure facilities and all the other necessities by
2018. As President of the Commonwealth Games Federation Mike Fennell
told international media, the Sri Lankan bid was exceptionally strong
and had demonstrated that the nation can deliver world class events on a
In addition to that everyone agreed Hambantota was a great bid,
presented with determination, professionalism and dignity. Everyone
connected with the bid conducted themselves with great credit and high
Though we lost the bid, all the development projects which have
already started and will start in the near future will continue as
planned and the seven year plan which has developed to enhance the
athletics and sports in the country also will continue. There is a major
impact on Sri Lankan tourism in terms of publicising and creating great
opportunity towards promoting the country in many European countries as
well as in other parts of the world which is a great achievement in
itself. Answering a question raised by a journalist at the press
conference, the Governor said, “the total budget for the Commonwealth
Games bid was US Dollars 8 million and out of that only US Dollars 1
million was spent by the government.
The rest had been contributions by the private sector.
We must thank all the private sector personnel who gave their
monetary as well as physical support during the event and the trust and
the confidence shown towards the Government.”