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Leading News from Sri Lanka::

* President inspects the construction of an international cricket stadium at Sooriyawewa in Southern Sri Lanka
Fri, Apr 9, 2010, 07:37 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Apr 09, Hambanthota: Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa today inspected the construction of the proposed international cricket stadium at Sooriyawewa in Hambanthota District.

The President was accompanied by the newly elected parliament member and the Chairman of the Tharunyata Hetak movement Namal Rajapaksa and the Project Coordinator Colonel Shanaka Ratnayake of Sri Lanka Army.

The stadium, located about 8 kilometers from the commercial city of Hambantota in Meegahajandura off Sooriyawewa is designed to hold day/night matches. It will be one of the venues slated to hold matches of the upcoming Cricket World Cup 2011 tournament.

The project at an estimated cost of 700 million rupees is a creation of the Tharunyata Hetak youth movement headed by President's son Namal Rajapaksa. It is totally funded by Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC). The Construction of the first phase began on May 17,2009.

The International Cricket Council recently visited the venues in Sri Lanka that are slated to hold the matches of the World Cup 2011 tournament and expressed their satisfaction on the progress. Sri Lanka, along with India and Bangladesh will be hosting the international event.

The Sri Lanka Army personnel will be working on the first phase of the project which includes laying of the turf pitches and grass. The China Harbour Engineering Company is expected to take over from the Army after the first phase is completed to add the spectator stands.

The project is set to be completed by October 2010 in preparation for the World Cup in June 2011. The stadium will be utilized for domestic cricket matches prior to the international event.

(Pictures by Chandana Perera)

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