Halik is full of weird ideas that end up knee deep in paddy fields or getting chased by elephants. He had this idea to go for a 5 km cancer run in Colombo, which couldn’t possibly go wrong. It didn’t. It was shorter than I thought, and for a good cause, beating Halik. JK, raising money for the Maharagama cancer hospital. Very good organization by the Colombo Uptown Rotaract Club.
The run started from Independence Square, went past the National Archives down to Thumulla, down Reid Avenue, past the National Museum, the Lotus Performing Arts Center and then round Coffee Bean and back to Independence Square. It’s funny how the recently redone Independence Square is fast becoming the heart of the city. Colombo South at least. There are Two Colombos, but I digress.
Later in the day, the nearby Sports Ministry grounds was the site of a friendly cricket game between Parliamentarians, opposition and government, Ministers vs. MPs. So I guess all the opposition was on the MP team, led by star cricketer turned Parliamentarian Sanath Jayasuriya. I heard that the UNP’s Harsha de Silva got wickets, props.
Running around, I must reiterate, Colombo and Sri Lanka are seeing a development boom. Most of this stuff didn’t exist five years ago or it was in a bad state. The last public jog I remember ended up with the national athletics coach and MP Jeyaraj Fernandopulle dead in a suicide bombing. I still remember the image of Fernandopulle, body cut in half, eyes wide open. Seriously, fuck that shit. Anybody who says things haven’t gotten better is tripping.
Over 200 people jogged around Colombo quite peacefully, earlier this year hundreds walked from Matara to Jaffna without trouble (TrailSL), so cool. Most of the people I saw at this run were young and inshallah, they will grow up in peace, fighting cancer rather than each other.
Check out The Papare’s photo coverage on Facebook. It’s really quite good, not just a photo dump, they’re thoughtful shots, and tagged.