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Sri Lanka Rugby Players prop MEPA’s ‘Sayura Rakina Rella’ beach cleanup

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Harsha Samaranayake, SGM, Brand and Media, Group Marketing, Dialog Axiata PLC and Rizly Illiyas, President, SLR leading the way at the beach cleanup. 

On a balmy Thursday afternoon, Dialog Axiata PLC (Dialog), Sri Lanka’s premier connectivity provider, together with Sri Lanka Rugby (SLR) inaugurated the first phase of the ‘Sayura Rakina Rella’ sustainable beach clean-up programme by the Marine Environment Protection Authority (MEPA) deployed to protect and preserve our oceans. The initiative kickstarted with the collection of over 770 kilograms (KG) of waste material from the Sarakkuwa beach (Negombo) which was handed over to the Wattala Pradeshiya Sabha for its safe and sustainable disposal.

Players from the present Sri Lanka men’s and women’s Rugby teams as well as former Tuskers such as Asoka Jayasena, Hisham Abdeen, Dilroy Perera, Ajith Upawansa, RMS Rathnayake and Jude Pillai, MEPA goodwill ambassadors, musical artists Bathiya & Santhush, young rugby players from the Western Lions Academy, officials from SLR together with the Dialog team volunteered for two-hour to restore the beach to a pristine condition.

According to a pollution index transcribed by the World Bank in 2015, Sri Lanka ranked as the 5th worst beach polluter of the world, mainly due to poor disposal of plastic waste. On average, a Sri Lankan produces 500g of non-degradable waste per day resulting in a mammoth amount of 100 million KGs of solid waste added into Sri Lanka’s coastal waters, according to 2017 records. During the total two-hour collection process at ‘Sayura Rakina Rella’, 275.89 KG of plastic, 102.6 KG of metal, 83 KG of glass, 250 KG of organic and 63 KG of paper waste was collected.

“We are thankful for Dialog and SLR for coming forward for this important initiative to safeguard Sri Lanka’s natural assets. We at MEPA sincerely hope that these initiatives, in the long run, inspire other sporting bodies, corporates and civil society to come forth and do their civic duty and we believe that initiatives of this nature enable corporates to be an agent of change in building a better tomorrow. We hope that by paving the way for initiatives of this nature, we can turnaround the present status quo especially as the country is on the cusp of opening its borders for tourism,” Dharshani Lahandapura, Chairperson of MEPA said.

“Rugby 7s giants in the Pacific Ocean like Fiji, Samoa and Tonga play most of their rugby on the beaches. They play touch rugby especially on the beach to develop their mind-blowing ball handling skills, which is something that I don’t see much today in Sri Lanka,” Rizly Iliyas, President of SLR said. He further elaborated, “When we were school children, we used to come to the beach often to play touch rugby. However, due to increased pollution, the beaches are not safe to come to as one can easily hurt themselves from household waste that is buried in the sand. Under this sustainability initiative, we would like to discourage the public from polluting and to take on their roles as responsible citizens by following proper garbage disposal methods”.

“As the proud sponsor of Sri Lanka Rugby, Dialog Axiata is pleased to join hands with SLR and MEPA to conserve our marine resources which have been under threat as a result of careless waste disposal,” Harsha Samaranayake, Senior General Manager, Brand and Media, Group Marketing at Dialog Axiata PLC said. “It is our belief that sports, like Rugby with a large following, will be a game changer in influencing its followers and the public on the necessity of preserving one of our country’s greatest natural assets” he added.



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Sri Lanka Cricket appoints Olympic medalist Susanthika Jayasinghe to promote women’s cricket

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Sri Lanka Cricket announced the appointment of Olympic Silver Medalist  Susanthika Jayasinghe as the ‘Consultant—Mentoring and Development of Women’s Cricket.”

Jayasinghe, one of the most decorated athletes produced by Sri Lanka and the only female athlete to win an Olympic medal for her country and the only Asian woman athlete to have won an Olympic medal in sprint events, will use her story of grit and determination to inspire the present and future generations of women cricketers in Sri Lanka.

Her appointment took effect on February 1, 2023.

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Sri Lanka leave out injured Hasini Perera for T20 World Cup

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Sri Lanka will be without Hasini Perera during the T20 World Cup

Sri Lanka have left out experienced campaigner Hasini Perera from their 15-member squad for the upcoming T20 World Cup after she suffered an injury. Perera, who was named in the original squad, was forced out after injuring her finger during a practice session.

She has been replaced by Sathya Sandeepani, whose only appearance for the national side came in the 2020 T20 World Cup encounter against runners-up India. Apart from the forced change, the Asian side have also made a couple of changes to their squad from the one that reached the Asia Cup final last October.

Rashmi Silva and Madushika Methtananda, two players who didn’t get an opportunity in the Asia Cup, have been left out of the squad for the World Cup in favour of Vishmi Gunaratne and Ama Kanchana. 17-year-old Vishmi made her debut in both T20Is and ODIs last year for Sri Lanka and the experienced Ama Kanchana, who made her T20I debut almost 10 years ago, has been recalled for the first time since the Commonwealth Games.

Chamari Athapaththu will lead the 15-member squad once again. Sri Lanka are in Group A alongside New Zealand, Bangladesh, hosts South Africa and defending champions Australia. They begin their campaign on the opening night (February 10) against South Africa at Newlands.

Squad:

Chamari Athapaththu (C), Oshadi Ranasinghe, Harshitha Samarawickrama, Nilakshi de Silva, Kavisha Dilhari, Anushka Sanjeewani, Kaushini Nuthyangana, Malsha Shehani, Inoka Ranaweera, Sugandika Kumari, Achini Kulasuriya, Tharika Sewwandi, Vishmi Gunaratne, Ama Kanchana, Sathya Sandeepani.

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President’s Mahara and Sri Parakrama NS Kobeigane declared joint champions

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The captains of the two schools Mihilsara Oshan (President’s College) and Adeesha Lakshan (Sri Parakrama NS) are seen with the trophy here.

Under 13 Division III Cricket Final

President’s College Mahara and Sri Parakrama National School Kobeigane were declared joint champions of the Under 13 Division III cricket tournament after the final between the two schools ended in a no-decision at Ananda Sastralaya ground Kotte yesterday. In reply to President’s 183 runs, Sri Parakrama National School were 133 for five wickets when rain prevented further play.

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