SLMUN: Inaugural Workshop at S.Thomas’ College Mt.Lavinia
By: Team News and Media
The first workshop of Sri Lankan Model United Nations (SLMUN) 2019 was hosted by St. Thomas' College, Mount Lavinia with the aim of attracting, educating and exposing new potential on the delegates to the world of SLMUN, the audience turned out with approximately 50 students from the local area. The workshop commenced with an introductory session by the Secretary General, Dimuth Fernando, who gave the congregation of students and teachers-in-charge an overall idea of what SLMUN stands for. It quickly progressed with , Shaquille Balasooriya, getting the students and Executive Committee members warmed up with an interactive session.
At the workshop, an introduction to the International Press Corps, more commonly known as the IPC was also given by Shenali Perera and Isuri Subasinghe. This was highlighted to be a special committee, one which incorporated the entirety of the conference. Being part of the International Press Corps is a completely different experience of being a normal delegate. It's unforgettable. More of a family than a committee, IPC journalists walk into committee sessions and observe what goes on behind conference doors. They then select what connects with them, what ignites a passion, a topic of interest and are free to write within the guidelines and mandate of their news agency. Meaning, write as an actual journalist from that news agency. Most participants had questions about how exactly the IPC works and what its constituents were. It was explained thoroughly and at the end of the day, the participants realized that although the work sounded very complex, it was in reality, very approachable and logical. The participants also held an additional interest in joining the IPC, as they felt it would greatly aid in the development of their language and essay writing skills, as well as time management skills.
The slow-moving air of a Saturday morning dissolved once the students got to their feet and began interacting with each other. Four groups were created, each assigned with chairpersons of various SLMUN committees, to connect with students and provide them with a more detailed insight into the SLMUN experience.
The topic which was debated among all the students who attended the workshop was ‘death penalty vs life imprisonment’. One reason for choosing this topic was because it reflects the current situation in our county. Secondly the chairs wanted to convey the crisis happening in Sri Lanka to all the young students who had attended the workshop (from age 12 to 16) and more importantly the chairs wanted to give an opportunity to express their views and opinions on this topic by all the young students.
The chairs spoke about the pillars of justice, what the death penalty entails, and opinions of the current and previous presidents’ regarding this matter. After the introduction , heated debate ensued. Everyone fraught for their chances to speak out and was eagerly waiting to express their views on the topic.
This session proved two points, firstly that most of the students were already aware of the current situation or had a basic sense of what’s happening and secondly that the students were confident, bold and strong enough to convey their message to a large group of people and this is essentially what SLMUN is, training students from a young age to express their views and opinions without fear in front of a large group of strangers. Many notable points were conveyed by many students such as: “Death penalty should be given to all murders however not to drug dealers because they deserve life imprisonment ”, some stated that “Drug dealers should also be given death penalty as they are slowing killing people by selling drugs to them ” and another stated that, “No! Drug dealers shouldn’t be sentenced to death penalty as it’s the buyers’ wish to purchase ”. Debate continued as delegates spoke about the rehabilitation for murders; the impact implementing the death penalty would have on criminals, nature of the crime and crimes that would morally permit the death penalty. As some went on to speak about the costs of long term prison mentioned, and how those costs will ultimately be borne by the citizens of the country through taxes etc. However most delegates were not in favor of the death penalty due to causes such as they may be wrongfully accused or should be given a second chance.
Many views and opinions were conveyed by the students present and the debates concluded with everyone's involvement on a positive note.
What do you think? Should this be legalized or abolished?
Grab your chance to express your opinions and solutions to all these current issues by being a part of SLMUN 2019. Registrations now open for the 12th session!
For more information please visit our website at www.slmun.org or contact 0718013722 / 0761603253. Also visit our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages to keep up with the workshops.