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Monday, 19 December 2011

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Playing for peace

Reviving historic inter-school cricket fixture between SJV and SJC :

The cricket fixture between Sri Jayawardenapura Vidyalaya (Christian College) Kotte and St. Johnís College in Jaffna which was a looked-forward-to annual event in the fifties, will be revived this month bringing new rays of hope in bridging the people living in the North and South, thus contributing towards the nationís peace-building efforts.

Accordingly, the comeback match will be played at Sri Jayawardenapura Vidyalaya, Kotte Grounds on December 19 and 20, opening a new chapter in the countryís sports history.

The Church Missionary Society (CMS) which arrived in Ceylon in 1818, played a pioneering role in promoting English education in Sri Lanka. In 1822 they started the ĎCotta Instituteí, which is today known as Sri Jayawardenapura Vidyalaya (Christian College) Kotte. Just a year later in 1823 they started St. Johnís College in Jaffna. During this significant by-gone era both schools governed by the C M S enjoyed very close ties.

In the 1950s, these two schools played an annual cricket encounter, which was a much awaited event. But, later bonds between the two schools widened largely due to the 30-year civil war and the takeover of the school by the government.

Now that the war has ended and the bridge linking the North and South is being connected, the old boys of SJP Kotte have made a fitting decision to re-establish bonds between the two schools by reviving the annual cricket fixture.

The SJP Old Boys Association has decided to offer a Challenge Trophy in the name of Jaffna-born K S Ananthan - a distinguished old boy of SJP and an outstanding national long-distance runner who is now domiciled in Canada. This symbolic gesture would indeed mean a lot to both schools in the renewal of cordial ties. The St. Johnís Jaffna team will be led by J Adrian while Isuru Kariyawasama will lead the Kotte Sri Jayawardenapura Vidyalaya, team.

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