By The Associated Press
The South Asian Games, scheduled to be hosted by Sri Lanka in August, has been postponed as the Indian Ocean island nation concentrates on rebuilding after the recent tsunami tragedy, the sports minister said Thursday.
Jeewan Kumaratunga, the minister of youth affairs and sports, said the eight-nation games would be pushed back by a year. Originally scheduled for August 15-25, the games are now being planned for the same period in 2006.
“This is not a time to host the games with big celebrations so we decided to wait for another year,” said Kumaratunga. “Once the country overcomes the present setbacks as a result of the Boxing Day tidal waves, Sri Lanka could plan out and host the 19-discipline Games in a big way in 2006.”
More than 30,000 Sri Lankans were killed in the disaster that claimed over 150,000 lives worldwide.
India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Maldives and Sri Lanka participate in the games.