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Asia Youth Forum: Participants watch BP demo debate

Eight experienced trainers and speakers debated on the motion that this House would consider Internet access a human right in a British Parliamentary demonstration debate on 14 April at the 2013 Asia Youth Forum next to Lake Issyk-Kul in Kyrgyzstan.

The debate was an opportunity to showcase the most popular format for universities students worldwide. Tournaments such as the World Universities Debating Championships and the Asian BP Championships that attract hundreds of teams every year are held in the British Parliamentary format, which involves four teams of two debaters and borrows quite a lot from the traditions of the parliamentary process in the United KIngdom.

The eight speakers were:

  • Opening Government: Sherzod Abdujabborov (Tajikistan), Sharmila Parmanand (Philippines)
  • Opening Opposition: Logan Balavijendran (Malaysia), Ioan Nascu (Romania)
  • Closing Government: Ratib Mortuza Ali (Bangladesh), Bianca Dragomir (Romania)
  • Closing Opposition: Rohan Chawla (India), Manos Moschopoulos (Greece)

"The Internet is an integral part of our lives. It helps us to freely express words and ideas helps in education. In today's world, access to the Internet should be recognized as a fundamental human right. Internet users freely express their thoughts, can prevent dictatorship and violence by the authorities" argued Sharmila Parmanand in Opening Government.

The Opening Opposition argued that other rights are more fundamental, such as access to water and food, and that introducing yet another human right would take political capital away from these more important rights. Closing Government argued that limiting human potential through withdrawing Internet access is unacceptable and that the Internet is a useful tool to notify the world about oppression and violence, while the closing opposition questioned the outcomes presented by the Government, talking about how the young people that took to Twitter during the Arab Spring are now marginalised and how Internet access doesn't necessarily bring forward rights or democracy.
 
In the end, the audience overwhelmingly voted for the opposition bench and declared the closing opposition team of Rohan Chawla and Manos Moschopoulos the winners of the debate.
 
A video recording of the demo debate will be made available soon
Reportage: Bermet Imanalieva

About the Asia Youth Forum

The Asia Youth Forum, one of many regional versions of the IDEA Global Youth Forum, is a two-week experience that combines the Karl Popper Debate Championship, educational tracks (including our Mixed Teams Track which brings students from different countries and different levels of experience together in a peer-to-peer learning experience) and tournaments that allow the speakers to put their newly-acquired skills into practice.

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