ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday, April 22, 2007
Vol. 41 - No 47

Muslim Aid holds New Year sports event in east

Over 1,500 people representing the Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim communities participated in a Muslim Aid Sri Lanka (MASL) Sinhala and Hindu New Year Sports Festival held in Kantale from April 7 to 9.

The events included traditional sports such as rope-pulling and a bun-eating competition as well as volleyball, football, a cycle race and a marathon. Prizes were awarded to the winners. The festival was organised in collaboration with, the District Secretariat and the Kantale Sports Development Federation, MASL's local partners.

"I wanted to participate in this event not only to win but also to interact with other communities. It is very important, especially for young people, that they learn to get along together," said captain of the Kalmatiyawa Elle Team, Thilini Sandamalie.

Kantale is home to Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims, who have been living together for generations. Close to the conflict areas, Kantale has seen the arrival of refugees on a regular basis.

"One of our mottos is building bridges and sport is a great way to do that," said Amjad Mohamed-Saleem, MASL's Country Director. "The people of Kantale have always helped others in times of trouble and they have shown how we can co-exist in peace."

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Copyright 2007 Wijeya Newspapers Ltd.Colombo. Sri Lanka.