Asian Alliance Insurance Debaters' Council Schools League - 2009
Close contest expected at the Grand Final

The Grand Final of the Asian Alliance Insurance Debaters' Council Schools League between Bishop's College and Wesley College is to be worked on December 10 at the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall (BMICH).

For both teams, the road has been long and hard. The competition which comprised of 56 debates amongst the top 8 schools in the country saw an extremely high level of competition with many a debate being decided on very close margins by the judges.

Bishop's College Team

Nonetheless, through all the ups and downs, these two teams have emerged successful and would now battle it out for the ultimate honours at the Finals.

Bishop's College, which occupies a top spot on the League Table at the conclusion of the first round, is ably led by Sandaruwani De Silva (18) who is also the captain of the Sri Lanka Schools Debating Team. The squad also comprises of other well known names, Thameena Zarani (18) and Charuni Pathmeswaran (18) who are both expected to star alongside with Sandaruwani at the final.

Wesley College, the other finalist is also led by another member of the Sri Lanka Schools Debating Team, Maleen Jayasuriya (17). His teammates at the finals are expected to be Sithira Gunasekera (17) and Chrisjit Xavier (17), both of whom have been consistent performers during the season.

When queried as to what she enjoyed most about the league, Sandaruwani replied "Definitely the level of competition. Since the league involved the best of the school teams in the current debating sphere, it was an interesting experience to go up against each other practically every weekend over the past few months." When further questioned about what debating overall has taught her, she says "A lot of things. Primarily I would say debating has taught us the importance of being aware of what goes on around you and the essential skills of being able to express, analyze and break down ideas and opinions on any subject."

When asked about the range of motions discussed during the tournament, Maleen replied "We debated topics ranging from various subjects including International and domestic affairs, rights, gender based issues, the environment to philosophy. We enjoyed every single topic and very specifically a debate which involved income distribution which we won and are quite proud for doing so, as disciples of the sciences".

When asked about debating in Sri Lanka, Deshan Pushparajah, the President of the Debaters' Council (of Sri Lanka) says "The standard of debating in Sri Lanka has improved rapidly over the last few years. We have been able to win quite a few regional tournaments at the University Level.

Wesley College Team

At school level we have done incredibly well to be placed 17th out of 41 countries at the World Schools Debating Championships in 2009. We are ahead in the rankings compared to our neighbours India and countries such as the USA."

When queried about the motive behind the League he states, "School level debating in the country had to be taken to the next level in order to compete more effectively with other countries.

We felt that the best way to do so would be to constantly pit the best teams against each other. This way they are persistently challenged to become better."

"A special word of thanks should be given to Asian Alliance Insurance PLC who are the title sponsors of this tournament for making it a reality and Wijeya Newspapers Ltd., for providing us with the publicity required to further promote the art of debating," he adds in conclusion.

The Asian Alliance Insurance DC Schools League is the inaugural tournament bringing together the top 8 teams in the country. The teams were chosen from a national level tournament, The Sri Lanka Schools Debating Championship held earlier this year. The other participating teams were St. Joseph's College, S. Thomas' College, St. Bridget's Convent, Methodist College, Colombo International School and Royal College.

The tournament is organized by the Debaters' Council (of Sri Lanka) which is the apex level institution for English Debating in the country. The title sponsors of the tournament are Asian Alliance Insurance PLC.

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