|From left: Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, MAS Holdings Chairman Deshamanya Mahesh Amalean and Mayor of Colombo A. J. M. Muzammil|
The Royal MAS Arena was ceremonially opened on 28 March by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe amidst a gathering of distinguished dignitaries including Minister of Education Akila Viraj Kariyawasam.
The Arena, built at a cost of Rs. 150 million, was donated to their Alma Mater by the founders of MAS – Deshamanya Mahesh Amalean, Ajay Amalean and Sharad Amalean.The Arena was constructed by the 04th Engineering Regiment of the Sri Lanka Army under the command of Lt. Gen Jagath Jayasooriya.
|From left: Royal College Principal B. A. Abeyrathna in conversation with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and MAS Holdings Chairman Deshamanya Mahesh Amalean|
This first-of-its-kind arena is designed to nurture and develop young talented sportsmen of the school and also become a venue that benefits a range of sports in Sri Lanka. Designed to facilitate many sports, the Royal MAS Arena is capable of hosting tournaments for boxing, wrestling, karate, wushu, judo, fencing, table tennis, gymnastics, chess and carrom.
This versatile, fully functional arena, customised to suit many sporting needs, is located on Rajakeeya Mawatha, next to the entrance to the Royal College Primary Section. Featuring modern amenities such as completely retractable seating, fully equipped locker rooms and customisable lighting, the Royal MAS Arena also features Sri Lanka’s first-ever world-class gym pit for gymnastics. Designed by the consultant architect Nandana Lal Karunasena, founder of Nandana Karunasena Associates, the Arena can accommodate a maximum of 1,000 spectators.
Speaking on the importance of such an investment, MAS Chairman Deshamanya Mahesh Amalean explained: “The Royal Mas Arena was designed with one goal in mind – empowering the young sportsmen of Royal College and the youth of Sri Lanka with a state-of-the-art facility for achieving excellence in sports. Not only is it an investment in developing the skills of future champions of Sri Lanka, it is our way of contributing to the creation of future Olympic standard heroes. We are proud to partner with Royal College for this project and look forward to witnessing the incredible talent the Royal MAS Arena will nurture in time to come.”
Speaking on behalf of Royal College, Principal B.A. Abeyrathna said: “The Royal MAS Arena represents a new generation in sports development for Royal College. We are pleased that MAS has provided for us an Arena of this nature and delighted that our students will have access to training facilities of this standard. I must also mention that Royalists are the most fortunate to have such dedicated and loyal old boys who exhibit great generosity towards their old school.”
Wickremesinghe and other distinguished dignitaries were welcomed by Abeyrathna at the opening ceremony. The highlight of the program was the martial arts fused dance act performed and choreographed by the students of Royal College. The program concluded with dinner and fellowship at the Arena.
Govt. to introduce a new education system by May: PM
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe says the government is committed to providing equal education opportunities for all students in the country and will introduce a new education system by May this year.
The Prime Minister made these remarks while participating in the opening ceremony of the Royal MAS Arena at the Royal College in Colombo on Monday.
Speaking at the event, the Premier said a new “Post School Education” program would be introduced under this new system of education to cater to the needs of the 21st century. He pointed out that the country’s development depends on the education system and the government plans to develop the school network providing all required facilities to achieve this objective.
The Prime Minister recalled that a promise was made to allocate 6% of GDP for education when Maithripala Sirisena was elected as the new President and therefore, the economy should be further developed in order to keep the government’s promise.
The Premier said the present government will ensure all students receive a compulsory 13 year school education and he had discussed the new system of education with the subject minister and other stakeholders.