Students from Royal Thimphu College, Tandin Bidha and Dilisha Subba, studying BCom Finance and BA English & Environmental Studies respectively, represented Bhutan at Transparency International Bangladesh’s first South Asian Debate Competition in Dhaka. Ms. Tshering Pemo, the Programme Leader of Business Department also took part in the event.
Participants included 4 teams from Bangladesh and a team each from Sri Lanka, Nepal, Maldives and Bhutan. The participants learnt and debated about anti-corruption work, policies, practices and systems in climate finance while engaging with fellow representatives from South Asia.
Team Bhutan participated in three rounds of the debate conducted in the British Parliamentary style:
Team Bhutan with officials and volunteers from Transparency International Bangladesh also visited Bashundhara Shopping Complex (one of the largest in Asia) and Bangabandhu Shiekh Mujibar Rahman Memorial Museum.
Dr. Iftekharuzzaman, the Executive Director of Transparency International Bangladesh addressed the gathering during the closing dinner.
The finals was recorded live to telecast on a local TV channel and can be viewed through:
Read what the RTC participants has got to share about their experience:
(Tandin Bidha, BCom Finance): “I particularly never thought that a different type of debating style can help one learn to a large extent. In fact I wasn't even aware that Westminster Parliament debate style even existed until I got the opportunity to participate in the South Asian Debate Competition. We acquired a lot of knowledge from this debate especially in the field of climate change and how one should have integrity to use funds in the most ethical way. The competition indeed opened our minds on the issues that we face every day and how being a part of this world, one has the responsibility to make Mother Earth a better place particularly when it comes to being ethical. If we hadn’t gotten this opportunity we wouldn't have been as well aware about climate finance and how it was a serious issue when it comes to being accountable, transparent and honest. Not only did we learn from this debate, but also from every person we interacted with, each one giving a wonderful insight on a different topic. This competition and the participants truly inspired me to a different level and I'll be forever grateful for it. Having to interact with people from different countries, getting to know about their cultures and countries amazed me, and I'm sure this will help me communicate better with new people I meet. Such kind of exposure definitely helped me learn better and will keep me boosted. The most important thing I take back from this debate is that one should be responsible for one's actions; we must be ethical in every way, and even if we can't do great things for the country or to the world, small things such as not being corrupt can help this country and the world grow better. For me it is the greatest thing that all of us can do. For this knowledgeable trip I want to thank Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) for organizing such educational debate and for funding our trip, Bhutan Transparency International for being the bridge between the organizer and the participants, to my college for giving us the opportunity, all the people who helped us and especially Madam Kimi for your valuable time and Madam Tshering Pemo for being an amazing mentor. Thank you.”
(Dilisha Subba, BA English & Environmental Studies) “From the perspective of a student studying about the environment, Adaptation Finance Governance was honestly something that I hadn’t even considered possible. I remember looking at the topic for the first time and wondering whether they had made a grammar mistake of some sort. Needless to say, I was clueless. Nevertheless, the experience taught me how important it is to combat corruption when it comes to climate finance and most importantly, in handling the funds that are received in such colossal amounts. Climate change is making the world more expensive with each passing day and if the funds disappear without even touching the environment, it really makes us question humanity’s integrity and accountability. The debate on its own was a whole new experience and was conducted in the form of what I now know is the “British Parliamentary/Westminster” style debate. This form is apparently used in the World University Debate Championship and to have the opportunity to put that into practice was an immense practical teacher as well as guidance to us. What was so striking to me about this style was that there is no such thing as a winning/losing side; they respect the idea that the purpose of a debate is to share ideas and not to win an argument. I believe that is one of the biggest lessons about life that I received from this event and I will definitely be carrying it on as a magic pill for everyday situations. In terms of all the participants from South Asian countries, it was extremely brilliant to share each participant’s unique views and opinions and to debate on them. Each person’s energy was so inimitable from the next that on being put together, it almost gave the idea that the future of the environment would be safe in these hands. And I believe that is what counts in the end. Immense gratitude to Transparency International Bangladesh for hosting the event, Transparency Initiative Bhutan and Royal Thimphu College for providing the opportunity, and to Madam Kimi for being there for us every step of the way and Sir Jesse Montes for providing such effective education on the subject.”