Big ones on but no frills
The school big matches can go ahead as planned although such events were suspended last month due to the uncertain security situation, L. K. Jayaweera, Director of the Sports Division of the Education Ministry said.
However, celebrations before or after the big matches are not encouraged, the director said. “Only the match should be held, celebrations should be kept to a minimum”, he added.
“It is the responsibility of the school principals to corporate with the security forces and police in their respective areas and take adequate measures to ensure security of the students and others attending the big matches”, he said.
School principals welcomed the decision, but stated that ensuring security would be their main priority.
Upali Gunasekera, the principal of Royal College said all measures would be taken to ensure that the 129th Royal-Thomian encounter would go ahead uninterrupted from 14 to 16 March as usual at the Sinhalese Sports Club Grounds. He added that there would be tight security throughout the three days the match is played including body checking.
“The match would be held on a low-key and without any major celebrations. We also don’t encourage large crowds”, he said.
Hemantha Premathilake, the principal of Nalanda College said that its annual encounter with arch rivals Ananda College would go ahead as scheduled on March 8 and 9 at the SSC grounds. Discussions are underway with the Ananda College principal on the special security measures that are to be adopted, he added. The Josephian-Peterite match will be played at the P. Saravanamuttu Stadium on 7 and 8 March.
According to a directive issued by the Education Ministry events that warrant a large number of students were temporary called off. School sports-meets were held on a low key, minus the pomp and pageantry that usually accompany such events.