Sesadi Dissanayake – A debator
Sesadi Dissanayake is a 13-year-old debater who became the best debater at St. Paul’s Girls’ School, Milagiriya, recently. She is also a member of the school’s junior band and enjoys playing the organ, violin, and recorder.
What’s the most memorable day in your life?
The day I became the best debater is a day I’ll never forget. It was my first year in upper school and I was really proud of the recognition I received.
Is that your best achievement so far?
Yes, it is. But, more importantly, it’s an achievement we made as a group and that mattered to me the most. We worked really hard to compete with the other groups. I was the captain and it was my responsibility to motivate everyone in the group.
Tell us more about yourself.
I’m Sesadi Dissanayake and I am 13 years old. I go to St. Paul’s Girls’ School, Milagiriya. I live in Kotikawatta with my parents and I have a sister. I also attend Sri Piyadassi Dhamma School, Kotikawatta. I’m in the school’s junior band and I play the melodica. I was in the school’s primary band as well. I love to play the keyboard. I play the violin and the recorder too, but the keyboard is my favourite. I also have a passion for drawing, singing, and acting. I think I’d continue to do these things in the future too.
How is Dhamma education helping you?
Well, I really enjoy going to Dhamma school every Sunday. We learn a lot about basic values in addition to Dhamma subject knowledge. And I really do notice a difference in my friends who go to Dhamma school and those who don’t. This is not to say that they are smarter or better behaved, but there is a significant difference that I find hard to describe using words.
Have you participated in any competitions there?
Yes. At the recent New Year festival I was chosen as the Avurudu Kumari and it was a very memorable occasion for me. There is also another special thing about my achievements at this Dhamma School; since I joined, I have received the award for best student at the annual prize giving. I am proud of this achievement, but I try to be humble about it. However, I try to continue to achieve more there.
You said you are also interested in acting?
Yes. I have always been interested in acting in stage dramas. But I never really got to go to a class to learn it. Whenever I get an opportunity to act in school, I try to take it. So far, I have participated in a few school plays and concerts since I was very young.
Can you remember the topic you spoke on at the winning debate?
Our topic was to discuss whether mass media encourages students to explore the world. We didn’t get the topic until the day of the competition, but we worked hard to sharpen our general knowledge in the days leading to it. That was a really good experience for me because I had to encourage my whole team to read up and be knowledgeable about the topics we would have possibly got. It was fun preparing for the competition. We learned a lot about how to work as a team and how individuals’ contributions are important in group work.
What is your ambition?
I love the aesthetic work I do. But I want to study law and become a lawyer after completing my education. I hope that doesn’t mean I have to give up all the extracurricular work I am currently engaged in. My parents always say that this extracurricular work will help me become a better and more capable lawyer.
Who are your biggest supporters?
My parents and my sister. Also, my teachers and trainers in school – especially my band instructor and debate coach.