Sunday, February 18, 2018 10:56:37 PM

Sri Lanka scraps tallest Xmas tree after church snub

Photo Gallery1 Photo By AFP - Wed Dec 07, 7:19 am

sri-lanka-xmas-treeCOLOMBO: Sri Lankan cricket legend Arjuna Ranatunga Wednesday abandoned a bid to build a record-breaking 100-metre tall Christmas tree after the head of the Catholic church on the island called it a waste of money.

Ranatunga, who led Sri Lanka to victory in the 1996 World Cup, had been at the forefront of the project to first raise the money and then erect a 325-foot artificial tree in central Colombo.

However Ranatunga had to beat a retreat after the Archbishop of Colombo Malcolm Ranjith said the scheme was “wasteful expenditure” and the money would have been better spent on helping the poor.

“In deference to the wishes of the archbishop, I have ordered a stop to the construction of this tree,” Ranatunga, who is now a government minister, said in a brief statement.

The 53-year-old, who represents a largely Catholic parliamentary constituency, had recently laid the steel base of the tree which was beginning to take shape on Colombo’s Galle Face beachfront promenade.

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