Young Sri Lankan Debating Team hit the World Stage

News Item in Island, 4 August 2020, with this title “Lanka only second to Canada in World Schools Debating Championship 2020”

Team #SriLanka’ that made history by emerging “Runner-Up in the World” in secondary-school English debating ahead of 66 other countries.

Sri Lanka National Debating Team became the first runner-up in the online World Schools Debating Championship 2020, while Canada beat Sri Lanka to win the Championship, in the final held on Sunday. Sri Lanka was also named the best ESL (English as a second language) team. Sri Lanka team’s Shalem Sumanthiran won the seventh place in the best ESL Speakers’ category.

The 2020 World Schools Debating Championships scheduled to be held in Mexico this year was postponed until January 2021 due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. Due to the postponement, special online events known as the ‘Online World Schools Debating Championships 2020’ was held from 17th Jul –2nd August 2020 with all the debates conducted through zoom. Sri Lanka reached the final for the first time in the School Debating Championship, which was attended by 68 nations.

The six-member national debating team consists of Janul de Silva and Shalem Sumanthiran from Royal College, Colombo, Rahul de Silva and Jasmine Markandu from the Colombo International School, Chanidu Ratnayake from Ananda College, Colombo and Reiha Wimalasekera from Ladies’ College Colombo.

Sanjith Dias and Kithmina Hewage are the coaches of the National Team.

Team Sri Lanka qualified for the final after defeating Team Ireland 7-0 in the semi-final.

The Championships is an annual English-language debating tournament for high school-level teams representing different countries in the world.


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