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The tenth chapter of Speech Olympiad was launched with the preliminary round on 01st of December 2016. Out of more than 60 registered competitors, the 12 best speakers made their way to the semi-finals after presenting 5-7 minute prepared speeches at the preliminaries. The selected Semi-finalists were: Achini Jayawardane, Ama Kalpani, Chamode Wijayasekera, Dulanjan Uduge, Himesh Siriwardana, Judith Welikala, Kanchana Ranasinghe, Kasun Ranasinghe, Nadarasar Bahavan, Sandaru Seneviratne, Tharindu Senanayake and Yasoda Gamage.

During the battle of the semi-finalists on 10th of December, they were given the challenge of making a 1-2 ½ minute impromptu speech in addition to the 5-7 minute prepared speech. After a thorough evaluation of both the impromptu and the prepared speeches, the university’s five best public speakers were selected for the Grand Finale by a panel of eminent judges who are actively engaged in the Toastmasters movement.

The Grand Finale of Speech Olympiad X was successfully held at the Civil Auditorium, University of Moratuwa on 22nd December 2016. The Vice Chancellor of the University of Moratuwa, Prof. Ananda Jayawardane, presided over the event while Prof. K.K.C.K Perera, Dean of Faculty of Engineering, Mr. P.M. Karunarathna, Dean of Faculty of IT, and TM Punsirimewan Kamburawala, Gavel Club Coordinator of Toastmasters District 82 attended as guests of honour of the evening. The panel of judges at the Grand Finale was led by DTM Piyakara D Jayaratne whose support played a vital role in the success of the event since the beginning.

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The finalists, Kanchana Ranasinghe (Department of Electronic and Telecommunication Engineering), Kasun Ranasinghe (Department of Chemical and Process Engineering), Sandaru Seneviratne (Department of Computer Science and Engineering), Shenali Welikala (Faculty of Information Technology) and Yasoda Gamage (Department of Transport and Logistics Management) electrified the evening with both their prepared and impromptu speeches. Their mesmerizing performance had the packed audience spellbound throughout the event. The dignitaries, undergraduates of the University of Moratuwa and the invited universities, corporates and well-wishers who were present at the event claimed that they were lucky to have witnessed such a display of oratory excellence.

Kasun Ranasinghe emerged as the winner after his prepared speech “I love you” which had a humorous start but a heart touching ending with a deep message and also an exhilarating performance at the impromptu session spiced up by his gifted ‘theatrical’ skills. Sandaru Seneviratne emerged as the first runner-up while Yasoda Gamage became the second runner-up after their convincing performances. The contest for the most popular speaker attracted numerous supporters for the finalists from both within and outside the university. This much sought after title was awarded to Shenali Welikala who won it by a wide margin of votes.

Several weeks of untiring efforts led by the President of the club Merl Chandana, the two Project Chairs Rochelle Silva and Piyumi Bandaranayake, and the two Assistant Project Chairs, Praveen Kumarasinghe and Chathuranga Amunugama, culminated in an event of unprecedented grandeur. They were constantly supported by all the present and the past members of the club. Dialog Axiata PLC, Sri Lanka’s largest telecommunication service provider, acted as the Official Award Sponsor while CAD Drafting Services Lanka (PVT) Ltd acted as the Silver Sponsor for the event.

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