Australian and Sri Lankan alumni, defence personnel, and local communities work together to clean up beach

(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) –On Sunday 24 March the Australian High Commission convened over 360 people to clean Mount Lavinia Beach (Wedikanda).

The group comprised over 100 Australian Defence Force personnel – in Sri Lanka as part of Indo Pacific Endeavour 2019; Australia and Sri Lanka’s biggest ever defence activity – as well as Sri Lankan alumni who studied in Australia, representatives of Green Map Sri Lanka, and members of the local community, including local fishermen.

This beach clean-up was an initiative of alumni who have studied in Australia and have organized regular clean up events with local communities back in Sri Lanka.

Acting Australian High Commissioner Jon Philpsaid: “The High Commission is proud to support this community-based movement, especially because of its importance to the sustainability of Sri Lanka’s tourism industry. Clean beaches are vital as Sri Lanka capitalises on its strong tourism potential.We look forward to supporting and participating in more events like this”.

“Community activities like this also help us expand the people-to-people links that are at the core of the bilateral relationship into new areas” said Philp.

The beach clean up was a full day activity, including personnel from Dehiwala-Mount Lavinia Municipal Council, Coast Conservation & Coastal Resource Management Department, the Dehiwala-Mount Lavinia Fire Brigade, Dehiwala-Mount Lavinia Police Division together with school children, teachers and parents of St Thomas College Mount Lavinia and Girls High School Mount Lavinia, Australian High Commission families, New Colombo Plan long term scholars and Australian Volunteers in country.

As a token of appreciation, Philp and ADF representative, Deputy Commander Andrew Quinn, presented a gift to Mr Chamila Kohona of Green Map Sri Lanka for his commitment to keep Sri Lanka clean.

The event was supported by sponsorship from Eco Products Sri Lanka, Omega Global Sri Lanka and Dipped Products PLC Sri Lanka.

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