Posted on June 30th, 2016

Press Release – Ananda College English Debating Society

The English Debating Team of Ananda College (Team-B) emerged Champions at the 11th Sri Lanka Schools’ English Debating Championship, organized by the Faculty of Law, University of Colombo. The aforesaid tournament is considered to be the pinnacle of the local English debating scene, the most prestigious all-island inter-school debating championship and the tournament with the highest number of participant schools every year; This year saw the participation of 56 teams from around 28 schools from all over the island.

Not only did B-Team of Ananda College emerge as Champions, they did so by defeating the ‘A-team’ of their own school at the Grand Finale; an All-Ananda Final” so to speak, an occurrence that has never happened at the said tournament; a Final round where the both teams competing for the coveted title were from the same school.

This year’s champion team comprised of Sandun Batagoda, Mahin De Silva and Yuwanath De Silva, and the Runner up team comprised of Tharuka Perera, Minul Muhandiramge and Navindu Palliyaguruge. Furthermore two speakers from the above teams were ranked among the top 10 individual best speakers of the tournament with Mahin De Silva ranking 4th and Minul Muhandiramge ranking 8th.


The Grand Final was held on the 25th of June 2016 from 5 pm onwards at the Senate Hall of the College House of the University of Colombo. Furthermore, a team from Ananda College also managed to make it up to the finals of the same tournament in 2014, and ended up becoming the runners’ up of the tournament.

3 teams, namely A, B and C teams, participated from Ananda College at the aforesaid tournament this year while the A Team members participated for the tournament in the middle of their last term test (ALs).  They are sitting for their A Level exams this August.

Moreover, B team and C teams formerly participated at the Asian Schools’ Debating Championship in Malaysia, just 2 weeks before the Sri Lanka Schools’ English Debating Championship with both teams winning 4 and 3 rounds respectively out of the 6 preliminary rounds. Ananda College was the only Sri Lankan Debating team that participated at the said tournament this year. Furthermore, the A team has also participated at the Asian Schools’ Debating Championship in previous years.

At this year’s Sri Lanka Schools Debating Championship, Team A and Team B won 6 out of the 8 preliminary rounds and qualified for the octo-finals and won each round at separate octo-finals, quarter finals and semifinals. At the semifinals A team and the B team emerged victorious against Royal College, Colombo and Colombo International School respectively.

Seniors, members of team A were the main mentors of the members of team B together with the other senior ex- debaters along with coaches Mr. Damitha Karunarathne Attorney-at-Law and Mr. Lithmal Jayawardhana.

The team also acknowledge the long term support received from Mr. Gomin Dayasri Attorney-at-Law, Mr. Nishantha de Silva and Mr. Tharindra Gooneratne as well as the teachers in charge Mrs. Ramya Samaradivakara, Mrs. Sunethra Siriwardena, Mrs. Shymalie Perera and the Principal of Ananda College, Mr. Kithsiri Liyanagamage.

Furthermore special acknowledgment must be given Mr. Damitha Karunarathne, who has been coaching the Ananda College English Debating Team for over 5 years as a volunteer and an Old Anandian.

Team B was joyous in discovering that they won against their senior team A at the finals.  However,  their immediate reaction was to call upon their seniors (team A) to receive the Champions Trophy as the seniors were the main reason they were as good as they were.

Judges were of very high caliber comprised of the members of the Moot Court and Debating Society of the Faculty of Law of the University of Colombo, Debaters Council of Sri Lanka including Lawyers and other professionals. Judges Unanimously agreed that it was one of the best finals they have seen at this tournament for a long time.

When asked about the victory, Mr. Damitha Karunarathne said, The path to glory was definitely not an easy one, it was full of obstacles, but the team managed to persevere and make many great achievements along the way. Most importantly, we had to train ourselves to believe in ourselves, when things weren’t going great. It took us more than half a decade to get to where we are.”

Some of the notable achievements for the team along the way include becoming the champions of the Asian Schools’ Debating Championship in 2012 in the Novice Category, becoming the Champions at “The Debater” organized by MTV Sports Channel (1st Season)” in 2013, becoming Overall Champions of Vijitha Weerasinghe Challenge Shield” organized by Royal College Colombo in 2015 and qualifying for the advanced and final rounds of many local and international tournaments  and producing many great individual speakers along the way.

And Mr. Lithmal Jayawardhana, added in, by saying, I am extremely proud to say that our juniors have surpassed all of us by a trillion miles and have achieved greater heights in the field of debating that we could only dream of. It is also very endearing to see the results of the countless hours spent on by us as a team, engaging in stressful debates, hectic research sessions and what not.”

Minul Muhandiramge, the captain of the A team said, My team decided to take part in this tournament this year, even in the middle of our final term test before our AL examination which is in August, because the deep love we have for debating, the contingent and our school. It was indeed a privilege to go up against our own juniors from school, and the fact that they managed to defeat us at the finals brings us only a sense of joy and pride, that the future of debating at Ananda is in really good hands!”

Furthermore, the captain of the champion team, Sandun Batagoda said, We would like to dedicate this victory to our A team, our coaches, our fellow debaters, because we wouldn’t be where we are now, if not for them; especially the members of the A team who were practically our mentors. We would also to thank all our well-wishers for supporting us throughout our journey.”

The Audience included students from Ananda College, sponsors, parents of debaters, teachers, fellow debaters from participating schools, lecturers of the University of Colombo, students of the Faculty of Law and debate enthusiasts.

Few of the past champions of the aforesaid tournament includes, St. Thomas’ College, Mount, Royal College, Colombo, St. Joseph’s College, Colombo and Gateway College.


  1. Nimal Says:

    Good show I say!
    English is so important many prefer to live and do business in English speaking counties.

  2. Kumari Says:

    Well done Anandians. What happened to Rayalists, Thomians, Josephians and Peterites.

    The war winning team of Mahinda Rajapakse were all Anandians. Defence and Foreign Secretaries (Gotabhaya and Bogellagama ), heads of the tri forces including Fonseka.

    Then Sri Lank’s first Test Cricket Captain was a Nalandian, Warnapura.

    When the country needs vision and action it is always Sinhalese Buddhists. The powder babies of other above mentioned schools may have connections and money but no brains and no commitment. (I am not putting all in the same basket , there are always exceptions ).

  3. Dilrook Says:

    This is very encouraging. Hopefully all Buddhist schools will follow Ananda. English is a must for all Sinhalese. Since introducing English medium in 2005, Sri Lankan school children have done exceptionally well.

    As we have always pointed out, Sri Lanka’s top development priority must be English (and other developed languages like German, Japanese and Korean). This is what brings the highest return on investment.

  4. Ananda-USA Says:

    Yes, INDEED … well done Anandians PATRIOTIC Sons of Lanka!

    Kumari, I am one of those Thomians who is never a powder baby!
    As a Patriotic Buddhist, I had my own cross to bear at S.Thomas which nevertheless gave me a stellar education.

    I imbibed my PATRIOTISM from my revered highly patriotic parents and larger community of relatives, friends and Buddhist monks.

  5. Ananda-USA Says:

    Oops! I meant to say that ” I was never a powder baby”!

  6. Kumari Says:

    Ananda USA, glad to know that you are an exception to the powder baby rule.

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