The English Literary and Debating Society of S.Thomas’ College, Mt. Lavinia sent 3 teams for the 12th Annual Debating Tournament hosted by the Law Faculty. The preliminary rounds were held on the 17th and 18th of June and the break rounds were held on the 24th of June. Due to unforeseen circumstances however the Law Faculty premises itself could not be used to have this tournament. So, in an interesting twist of events, with just 2 days to go, the tournament was shifted hastily to S. Thomas’ College Mount Lavinia.
Of the teams we sent, the A team consisted of Senal Hewage, Chethan Perera, Dulitha Ellawala and Kavindra Senaratna. The B team comprised of Anuk Dharmasena, Anish De Silva, Rahul Silva and Akilendra Gunawardhana. And Sandeep Tissaratchy, Anish De Chickera and Treshan Fernando went as the C team.
For the preliminary rounds there was a system of power-matching. This meant that the strongest teams went against the strongest teams. For example a team with 5 wins would generally face-off against a team with 5 wins as well. There were 4 rounds on Saturday and 3 rounds on Sunday. After the 7th round the A team had won a total of 6, losing only to Colombo International School A, the B team had won 5 and lost 2, and the C team had won 2. Then they announced the teams that made the “break”, which meant that they would make it to the knockout stages. The C team unfortunately did not make the break but the B team broke 12th and the A team broke 2nd.
The knockout rounds were held on the following Saturday, this time at the Law Faculty premises. In the octo-finals the B team faced Lyceum International School Nugegoda A and opposed the topic “This house would amend the school curriculum to portray marginalized groups in a good light.” The B team fought extremely hard but the judges decided to give the debate to Lyceum. The A team proposed this same motion and won with a unanimous decision of the 3 judges. Then the A team moved on to the quarter-finals. They debated against Lyceum International School Nugegoda A, the same team that B faced in the octo-finals. STC A proposed the motion “This house would hold religious leaders liable for religiously motivated crimes committed by their congregants”. After 8 passionate speeches the debate became very intense and nearly impossible to call. Unfortunately, the A team just couldn’t convince the judges and Lyceum won. Later that evening Lyceum went against Ananda A in the finals. And with a 3-2 split decision, Ananda won the debate.
Overall, it was an amazing experience for S.Thomas’ not only because we hosted the preliminary rounds but because the teams performed well. Many of our speakers were ranked close to the top of the charts and they put in a huge amount of effort to do this. We are grateful to our coach Mr. Shanil Wijesinghe and our Teacher-In-Charge Mrs Michelle Goonetilleke. Without their support and help we would certainly have achieved this feat. Personally, I’m proud of our teams for their dedication and the results they achieved.
– Treshan Fernando