Oct 29, Perth: Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa and First Lady Shiranthi Rajapaksa were among the guests invited to a dinner reception on Friday night (28) hosted by the leader of the Commonwealth, the Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip at the Pan Pacific Hotel in Perth Australia.
Attending a sports breakfast hosted by the Australian Prime Minister Ms. Julia Gillard for the senior officials of the Commonwealth this morning President Mahinda Rajapaksa made a strong pitch for Hambanthota to host the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
President Rajapaksa took the opportunity to make a brief but strong speech at the breakfast organized on the sidelines of the ongoing Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM).
Addressing the officials in the audience which included the members of the 71 Commonwealth Games associations who will vote next month to select the venue for 2018 Commonwealth Games, the President likened Sri Lanka’s bid to Malaysia, which hosted the Games in 1998.
Sri Lanka’s Hambanthota and Australia’s Gold Coast of Queensland are bidding to host the CWG 2018.
Following the 1998 Games Malaysia experienced a considerable progress in the country’s economy.
Noting that Australia has hosted the Games previously, the President said the opportunity to host the games in 2018 would be a life-changing event for Sri Lanka in its history.
The Commonwealth Games Federation will announce the winning bid in Basseterre, St Kitts on November 11 following a vote at the General Assembly of Commonwealth member nations.
(Photos by Sudath Silva)