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* Sri Lanka bids for 2018 Commonwealth Games
Wed, May 11, 2011, 07:33 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

May 11, Kuala Lumpur: Sri Lanka's southern harbour city of Hambanthota today lodged the official bid to host the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur at the Commonwealth Games Federation meeting.

A high-powered delegation of Sri Lanka led by the Co-Chairmen of the Hambantota bid committee, the Minister of Sports Mahindananda Aluthgamage made a 20-minute presentation at the formal lodgement ceremony today at Kuala Lumpur's Le Meridien Hotel.

Gold Coast in Australia is the other city that lodged a bid today to host the games.

The delegation comprised Governor of the Sri Lankan Central Bank, Ajith Nivard Cabraal, Hambanthota district parliamentarian Namal Rajapaksa, former athlete Sriyani Kulawansa, and the bid Chief Executive Nalin Attygalle.

Another 22 members of bid committee from the public and private sectors and the Armed forces will support the delegation members.

The bid committee has said that their presentation will depict Sri Lanka's culture through music and dance, show what they have to offer the Commonwealth’s 71 countries, and highlight that children are the future who will participate in 2018 if the city is successful in its bid.

The Hambantota bid committee Co-Chairman, Ajith Nivard Cabraal has said that the key motivation to host the 2018 Commonwealth Games is the long-term development of the Hambantota district and the Southern Province.

According to Cabraal, the Games would secure long-term and sustainable social and economic benefits for Sri Lanka and the government is investing over four billion dollars for the overall development.

"Our promise to athletes and guests hoping to visit Hambantota and our beautiful country in 2018 would be that we would provide them with an experience of a lifetime, offering diversity, beauty, and charm of our heritage, coupled with exciting festivals and fun," Cabraal has said.

Sri Lanka's 2004 tsunami-ravaged city of Hambanthota is fast becoming a metropolis with the new Magampura international harbour, the second international airport in Mattala and the new athletic complex that is being built with the international cricket stadium that successfully held two Cricket World Cup matches in March.

India hosted the Games for the first time in 2010 and Glasgow in Scotland has been selected to host the 2014 Games. The 2018 games will be hosted in a country from Oceania or Asia.

Inspections will take place before a final presentation by the two cities to the CGF General Assembly which consists of representatives of all 71 member nations and territories. The members will vote on the final decision when the General Assembly meets in St Kitts & Nevis in November 2011.

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