British lions are lustily rooting for Sri Lankan lions as the latter go into the finals of the World Cup cricket tournament in the West Indies on Saturday.
"Come on you Sri Lankan Lions. Let's hear you roar!" exhorted the staff of the British High Commission in Colombo, through an official press release on Friday.
"The British High Commission wish the Sri Lankan cricket team the best of luck in Saturday's cricket World Cup final. We're hoping for a repeat of the 1996 World Cup final result," the release said.
That Sri Lanka's rival, Australia, is England's traditional rival in cricket, is not the only reason for British support for Sri Lanka.
"High Commissioner Dominic Chilcott strongly felt that the Sri Lankan cricket team should be supported because cricket means so much to Sri Lankans, and the cricket team brings all Sri Lankans together, cutting across ethnic and other barriers," an official of the British mission told Hindustan Times.
Rajapaksa off to West Indies to cheer team.
Given the tremendous importance the World Cup final has for his hard-pressed country, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Thursday left for the West Indies to watch his country play.
The President, whose first name is Percy (he is Percy Mahinda Rajapaksa), will be joining another Percy, the country's professional cheer leader, the irrepressible Percy Abeyasekara, The Island reported on Friday.