The Debaters' Council (of Sri Lanka) was founded by the local debating community in 2006. Its stated objective is to "nurture a culture of debate and discourse within Sri Lanka", and it currently functions as the apex body for English Debating in the country, boasting many prestigious schools and universities amongst its membership.
The League was scheduled to run for a full seven months, putting the nation's top eight schools' debating outfits at loggerheads with each other in a sphere of rationality and argument. The league has 57 debates in total, with each school pitted up against every other team in the league twice. At the end of this process, the top two teams would battle it out for supreme honours at the grand final, scheduled in early December.
An interesting aspect of the league is the inclusion of both prepared and impromptu debates in tune with the structure of top international debate competitions such as the World Schools' Debating Championships. The motions for the competition were creative and diverse and bore topical relevance in Sri Lanka and the world at large. These motions included "This House would not grant preferential trade schemes on the basis of Human Rights considerations", "This House believes dissent in a time of war is treason" and even radically controversial issues such as "This House would assassinate Ahmedinajad".
The top eight schools teams were chosen based on their performance at the Sri Lanka Schools' Debating Championships organized early this year. As such, the teams partaking in the league are - S. Thomas' College Mt. Lavinia, Colombo International School, Royal College, St. Joseph's College, Bishop's College, Wesley College, Methodist College and St. Bridget's Convent.
The league has progressed fluidly over the months, and at the conclusion of the first round of 56 debates Bishop's College and Wesley College have emerged as the top two teams. The former has a particularly impressive record of 11 wins out of 14 debates while the latter has won 10 out of their 14. St. Joseph's College follows closely in third place with 8 wins out of 14 while S. Thomas' College comes within an inch behind on points with the identical record. As such, Bishop's College and Wesley College will battle it out at the Grand Final of the Tournament on December 10 2009 at the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall.
With regard to individual speakers the competition has indeed produced some fine speeches by a few speakers as well as many others, whilst also being a forum for the exponential development of certain debaters which has resulted in a palpable improvement in the standard of debate as the competition has progressed.
As the league draws to a close, much experience has been gained by the participants. The multiple close contests experienced had meant that almost all schools had a statistical chance of entering the finals till some of the final debates.
Whoever the eventual winners may be, all the schools should be commended for their level of enthusiasm and commitment to the league and their contribution in what has been an exciting and enriching event for one and all concerned. The title sponsors for the Asian Alliance Insurance DC Schools league are Asian Alliance Insurance PLC.