June 15, 2012
The former rebel held town of Mullaitivu will host the beach events of the Asian Youth Games in 2017, the Sri Lanka Tourist Board announced.
Hambantota has already been selected as the venue for the Asian Youth Games and the announcement was made by the head of the Asian Olympic Council Sheikh Ahamed Al-Fahad Al-Sabah in Colombo this week.
The Tourist Board said that following this announcement the government has decided to have the beach events in Mullaitivu, which was where the final war took place between the army and the LTTE three years ago.
“Benefits of these games should be equally shared by different parts of the island although Hambantota sports city will stage the main events. The beach games will boost the tourism drive and generate more economic activities when they are held in Mullaitivu. The anticipated visitation to Mullaitivu and rest of the region during the games will be an encouraging factor for potential investors who are looking for suitable locations for their developments,” the Tourist Board quoted government MP Namal Rajapaksa as saying.
The Asian Youth Games in Hambantota in 2017 will be the biggest sporting event to be hosted by Sri Lanka.
Hambantota was earlier earmarked as the venue for the Commonwealth Games in 2018 but Sri Lanka lost the bid to host the games to Australia.
However Sri Lanka later submitted a proposal in Kuwait to the Asian Olympic Council to obtain the rights to host the Asian Youth Games in 2017.
The first Asian Youth Games was held in Singapore in 2009 and the second is scheduled in to be held in Nanjing, in China in 2013. Sri Lanka came ahead of Qatar, Dubai, Uzbekistan, Thailand and Indonesia to be successful in securing the third Asian Youth Games.