Sports an effective response to hatred, extremism: Envoy

Published : 9:08 am  October 4, 2018 | No comments so far |  | 


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By Lahiru Pothmulla   

An effective response to hatred and extremism consists in sport and diplomacy working together with other disciplines, to educate and advance human rights, mutual understanding and tolerance, Sri Lankan Ambassador to the UN in Geneva, A. L. A. Azeez said.   Speaking as the Chairperson-Rapporteur of the Social Forum-2018 in Geneva on Monday, he said sports, like diplomacy, has the potential to bring together all actors or participants beyond the immediate theatre of competition.   

He said sports and diplomacy both encourage camaraderie and solidarity to achieve shared objectives.   

“The ‘win-win’ in sport as in diplomacy, is to remain engaged, to build and maintain momentum, and to reach the final line of pursuit,” he said.   The Ambassador said the UN Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, in their essence, represent the common aspirations of humanity-aspirations to a life of dignity, equality and freedom, and aspirations to a world of peace and prosperity.   “It calls upon all disciplines including sport and diplomacy, to work together towards effectively and meaningfully realising these aspirations,” he said.   Meanwhile, he said sport, in Sri Lanka, is an important part of the country’s culture.   

“Sri Lankans generally have a passion for sport, whether it is for our national sports, or for the immensely popular sports such as Cricket. Sri Lankans were particularly proud when the Sri Lankan Cricket Team won the World Twenty20 in 2014. We are also proud that Sri Lanka’s National Team won the Asian Championship in Netball this year. Behind our celebration of victory remains the strength of diversity reflected in our teams, which has brought glory to the country,” he said.