SL to host SA Games in 2020 – Minister of Finance

Published : 12:00 am  November 11, 2017 | No comments so far |  |  (377) reads | 

fbyhrtfBy Yohan Perera and Ajith Siriwaradana 

Minister of Finance and Media Mangala Samaraweera announced that Sri Lanka would host the South Asia Games in 2020 for the first time since 2006. 

The Minister who made this announcement during his Budget Speech last evening said Sri Lanka has already allocated a sum of Rs. 1,500 million (Rs. 1.5 billion) for the same. 

“Sri Lanka has the honour of hosting the South Asian Games in 2020. The Diyagama International Sports Complex, where the South Asian Games are planned to be held would be upgraded and expanded which will include the relaying of tracks, development of an athletic village, an entertainment area, a muscular skeletal surgery unit,” he said outlining the plans in line with the event. 

Also he said a sports school and an academy will be set up in Diyagama. 

The Budget 2018 presented by the Minister also elaborated on the spending which the Government intends to make in the arena of sports. 

One of the major plans of the Government is to spend a sum of Rs. 100 million to modernise and manage the Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium as a public – private partnership. 

“The Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium is expected to be an attractive venue for international sports competitions and entertainment events,” Samaraweera said. 

In addition the pavilion and the tracks of Sugathadasa Outdoor Stadium is to be upgraded to international level with an estimated cost of Rs. 1.2 billion.  “A talent identification programme has now enabled us to create pools of talent building young athletes at District and Provincial level thus becoming the main feeding point into the National pools. In order to promote sports at District and Provincial levels, it has been planned to uplift District and Provincial sports stadiums,” he added while revealing that Digana, Kalmunai will be developed during the next two years. A sum of Rs. 400 million has been allocated for these projects. 

Among other plans are the establishment of a human performance laboratory with state of the art facilities at a cost of Rs. 75 million and the construction of a drug testing laboratory at a cost of Rs. 25 million. 

“The issue of performance enhancing drugs has permeated into country’s sports area lately. This is quite shameful,” the Minister said.