Cricketers’ Association joins to launch HOPE Cancer Hospital project

by Dhammika Ratnaweera

Sri Lankan Cricketer’s Association together with the Lion’s Club of Colombo Somerset District 306B have announced the launch of project "HOPE" to establish a well equipped cancer treatment facility in Sri Lanka.

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Mahela Jayawardena (third from left) briefing the press regarding the launch of the HOPE Cancer Hospital at Hotel Oberoi yesterday. Also in the picture (from left) Roshan Mahanama Secretary of Sri Lanka Cricketer’s Association, Dr. Athula Kahandaliyanage Senior Assistant Secretary of Health Ministry, Mahesh Pasquel President of Lions Club of Colombo Somerset District 306B, Sanath Jayasuriya President of Sri Lanka Cricketers’ Association and Eraj Abeywardena Executive Assistant Manager, Hotel Oberoi. Photo by Jude Denzil Pathiraja


"The total cost of the project will be 750 million rupees and the Sri Lankan Cricketer’s Association will play an extensive role in soliciting for funds for the project, together with the Lions Club of Colombo Somerset", said President of the Cricketers’ Association Sanath Jayasuriya the skipper of the National Cricket team at the press briefing at Hotel Oberoi yesterday. He also said, "We are in this with our hearts and expect to get full support from each member of Sri Lanka Cricket team. We want every Sri Lankan to join the team in this effort. There are thousands of Sri Lankans for whom chances of survival are bleak when faced with cancer. We ask you to give generously to Hope Cancer Hospital to make it a reallity for your fellow country men".

Mahela Jayawardena the life member of the Cricketers’ Association the man behind the idea of this project explaining his views of this project said, Sri Lanka Cricketers’ Association with the Lions Club of Colombo Somerset District 306B will sign a MoU with the Government of Sri Lanka, wherein land in the premises of Cancer Institute Maharagama was allocated to the project. The facility called the Hope Cancer Hospital, will have an estimated 750 beds. Jayawardena also said‘I lost my younger brother to cancer when he was just 16 seven years ago. If our efforts can bring hope of life to those we love, admire and respect who have been affected by this wretched disease we will be grateful. The 750 cancer hospital will be equipped with the latest facilities and will cater to patients from every section of society".

Jayawardena also said, "we have Sharjah, England, South Africa and Australia tours this year and we expect to do our project campaign during these tours. We want facilities to bring down the latest technology for our country. In the first phase the HOPE Hospital will be a 450 bed general ward and space for two radiotherapy machines. We expect to finish this phase end of this year. In the second phase there will be two modern diagnostic, treatment and ancillary facilities. The third phase will include a further 300 beds.

The HOPE Cancer Hospital will augment the existing facilities available at Maharagama. On completion of the new cancer unit, it will be handed back to the Ministry of Health and will be run by authorities at the Cancer Institute Maharagama.

Mahesh Pasquel the President of the Lions Club of Colombo Somerset District 306B said this will be the largest community project in Sri Lanka and we expect support from every Sri Lankan. We will officially launch this project on March 23.

Suchith Mohothi Associates (Pvt) will be the architects of the Hospital complex while Phoenix O & M Advertising are the communication consultants for the project. All contributions can be deposited at any of the Seylan Bank Branches and are to be made in the name of the HOPE Cancer Hospital. Contributions will be exempt from income tax.

Roshan Mahanama the joint Secretary of Sri Lanka Cricketer’s Association said we hope all cricketer’s support for this great effort. This will be a long term project not like a one day game or a five day test match. Our Association is very glad to join with Lions Club for this project. Chandana Liyanapatabendy joint Secretary of Cricketer’s Association, Senior Assistant Secretary of the Health Ministry Dr. Athula Kahandaliyanage also graced this press briefing .