The ties between the Philippines and Sri Lanka can be improved through sports according to H.M.G.R.R.K. Wijeratne Mendis, the Charge d’Affaires of the Sri Lankan Embassy to the Philippines.
“The cultural and political aspects of our relations are good but in this field, we have not yet explored the possibilities of enhancing our relationship,” Mendis said in an interview with The Manila Times.
The interview was conducted a day after the national rugby teams of the Philippines and Sri Lanka faced each other in the finals of the Asian Rugby Championship Division One at the Philippine Sports Stadium in Bocaue, Bulacan on Saturday. Sri Lanka won over the Philippines, 14-27.
Mendis said that she has met with Philippine Sports Commission Chairman Ricardo Garcia during the first round of the competition.
“When I came to the first match of Sri Lanka, I have met with the chairman of the sports commission and I have spoken to him about the ways of how we can enhance our relations through sports,” she added.
She said that she has asked Garcia to send a sports envoy to her country to strengthen the sports ties between the two countries.
“Philippines is very good in basketball and I have spoken with the chairman to send some coaches and some very good basketball players as sports ambassadors to Sri Lanka so we can have exchanges in that area.”
Mendis added that Sri Lanka could lend its expertise to the Philippines in developing certain sports, “I think Sri Lanka can help the Philippines in some games. Sri Lanka is very good in cricket, athletics and volleyball,” she said.