Pressure built up on the young team of debaters as they walked into the ACC Kularathna Hall. The forum was buzzing with zealous young minds conversing and arguing on fresh topics. The transition from debating in Kandy to Colombo was overwhelming. Concepts such as debating coaches and special training academies sounded unrealistic to the team returning from their maiden K. M. De Lanerolle Championship. However, the undaunted team with the support of Mrs Pramila Vijeykumar and Mrs Fathima Majeed went on to reach a milestone in the literary history of Trinity College by securing their first Novice championship title.
The N.M. Perera Memorial Trophy Debate Tournament is a prominent debating competition in Sri Lanka organized by Ananda College. The tournament took place from the 14th to 16th of February 2020 at the College premises with 34 teams from all over the island competing for the much coveted title.
Six preliminary rounds were held to decide the sixteen teams for the octo-finals. The results were as follows:
- Round 1: Opposes the motion that, “This house believes that (THBT) people are justified in entering contracts specifying conditions on their relationship” (Lost to Stafford International School – B)
- Round 2: Proposes the motion that, “THBT the feminist movement should oppose the rise of commercial products and services aimed at helping women protect themselves from sexual assault and harassment.” (Won against Isipathana College Colombo – B)
- Round 3: Proposes the motion that, “This house regrets (THR) the grade 5 scholarship exam.” (Won against Sujatha Vidyalaya Nugegoda – B )
- Round 4: Opposes the motion that, “THR the widespread use of RTI as a grievance redressal mechanism by citizens on issues they face in the delivery of public services.” (Lost to Gateway College Colombo – B)
- Round 5: Opposes the motion that, “In countries with high levels of corruption THBT journalists should use any means necessary to expose government corruption.” (Lost to Wesley College Colombo – B)
- Round 6: Proposes the motion that, “This house would (THW) rewrite history to celebrate Queen Anula” (Won against Vishaka College Colombo – A)
Bagging three wins the Trinity team was selected to the octo-finals as the 16th seed and to the novice semi-finals as the 1st seed. Opting to give a shot at a title the team chose to participate in the Novice Championship and the decision paid off.
- Novice Semi-finals: Proposes the motion that, “Assuming it was possible to convince the world TH as an independent environmental advocacy group would blame the recent corona virus outbreak on global warming.” (Won against Isipathana College Colombo – A)
- Novice Finals: Opposes the motion that, “When responding to civilian casualties THBT the military action should not meet the principle of proportionality.” (Won against Colombo International School – B)
The winning team;
- Tharin Rajapakshe (Captain)
- Parinda Ratnayake (2nd speaker)
- Jayageeth Basnayake (3rd speaker)
- Lolonyo Rahulan (reserve)
- Yuki Ranatillake
While the debaters made history, the recent victories are not to be enjoyed and forgotten. They remain as pillars of a revival story in the writing. This experience showed the extent to which improvement is required. The contacts made in Colombo would be invaluable for the boys to adapt to the new setting.
Though Trinity received attention of small fry initially, they left behind the impression they should not to be underrated again. The Debating Society is focused on establishing itself as a powerhouse in debating in the years to come.
The Debating Society is sincerely thankful to the Principal, Dr Nalin Wikramanayake for his interest and dedication towards the revival of English debating at Trinity. They would also extend their gratitude to Mr Sharuka Wikramanayake who supported the team with basic training.