Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Selections for WSDC 2012

The World Schools Debating Championships 2012 will be held in Cape Town, South Africa, from the 17th to the 27th of January 2012.

The selections for Team Sri Lanka will be held on the 15th and 16th of October 2011. Applications to participate at the selection debates will be accepted until the 11th of October 2011. If you are interested in participating at the selection debates, please submit a CV outlining your debating achievements along with your Date of Birth and contact details before the above date to the following address:


Successful candidates will be notified of their eligibility to attend the selection debates by the 13th of October 2011.

Selections by the panel are subject to approval by the Ministry of Education of Sri Lanka.

Team Sri Lanka at WSDC 2011

The World Schools Debating Championships 2011 were held in Dundee, Scotland, from the 16th to the 26th of August. This year marked Sri Lanka's 6th year participating officially at the Championships.

Selections for the team began in late January, and after a series of eight workshops and competitive debates, the following were selected to represent the country this year:

Sanjit Dias (Captain) - S. Thomas' College, Mount Lavinia
Tamara Fernando - Colombo International School
Manisha Dissanayake - Ladies' College
Raaliya Hussain - Methodist College
Lithmal Jayawardhana - Ananda College

The team was coached by Kithmina Hewage, a former member of the national team, and at present, an under-graduate at Johns Hopkins University.

The team did well to secure four wins out of the eight preliminary debates. The team overcame Romania, Serbia, Slovakia and Peru, but were defeated by South Korea, USA, India and New Zealend, with the latter two being very close debates. Unfortunately, the team did not break into the knock-out rounds this year, but were ranked 23rd based on wins and losses, and 19th based on speaker points, out of the 48 teams which participated at the Championships.

The Championships were won by Singapore-the first ever Asian team to achieve this feat-who beat Australia 7-2 in the Grand Final, opposing the motion "This house believes that autocracy is doomed in the age of Facebook".

Special commendation goes out to Sanjit Dias, Tamara Fernando and Manisha Dissanayake, who were ranked 9th, 11th, and 14th respectively on the "English as a Second Language"(ESL) speaker tab.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Musaeus College Impromptu Debating Competition 2011

The above tournament, organized by the Debating Circle of Musaeus College, was held on the 11th and 14th of June, with the Grand Final being held on the latter date.

The inter-school competition saw 14 of the top teams in Colombo participate, and the two finalists who emerged from the debates on the 11th, were St. Joseph's College and Holy Family Convent, Colombo 04.

The motion for the Grand Final was "This house believes that the source of crime is social deprivation"

The team from St. Joseph's College, who proposed the motion, comprised,

Keith James (C)
Daniel Ferdinandus
Shehara Herath
Sherveen Fernando (R)

while Holy Family Convent was represented by

Rosheni Ratnayake (C)
Shenelle Perera
Mihiri Weerasekara

The three-member judging panel for the final comprised Shamir Zavahir, Oshan Fernando and Viraga Perera.

After a closely contested debate, the judges' decision was split; 2-1 in favour of St. Joseph's College.

Manisha Dissanayake of Ladies' College was adjudged the best speaker of the competition.

6th Sri Lanka Schools Debating Championship- 2011

The above tournament, organized by the Moot Court and Debating Society(MCDS) of the faculty of law, University of Colombo, was held on two seperate weekends in the month of February. The six preliminary rounds were worked off on the 19th and 20th, while the knock-out rounds and the Grand Final were held on the 27th.

This year's tournament saw close to 60 teams participating, with a high level of debate displayed at all encounters.

The Grand Final was between S. Thomas' College, Mount Lavinia, and St. Joseph's College, with the former proposing the motion, "This house believes that judicial activism is unjust in a democracy"

The team from S. Thomas' College comprised,

Minaal Wickremesinghe (C)
Si-Hua Chang
Sanjit Dias

while the team from St. Joseph's College was represented by

Jeevith Sukumaran
Kevin De Silva (C)
Keith James

The debate was judged by a panel of nine adjudicators, all of whom have had a wealth of experience debating at school and university level.

The 9-person panel comprised Nishantha De Silva (chair), Gehan Goonatilleka, Shan Dantanarayana, Rehan Almeida, Deshan Pushparajah, Charana Kanankenamage, Shamalie Jayatunge, Luwie Ganeshathas, and Galusha Wirithamulla.

The decision went unanimously in favour of S. Thomas' College, who emerged the undefeated champions, having previously won all six preliminary debates-the only team to achieve this feat.

Minaal Wickremesinghe, the captain of the victorious side, was adjudged the best speaker of the championship.