I have to say I didn't think it would happen. Anyone who have watched the Asian Mailing lists will have seen a discussion on Asian Unity and in particular a number of e-mails which descended into childish insults. However it appears a lot of work was being done in the background and today MMU announced that they would be cancelling the AUT in favour of one tournament AUDC at EWU in Bangladesh. This is a remarkable gesture by MMU as they have put a lot of work into their tournament and I hope the Asian and international debating communities recognise this. Now the ball has passed to EWU and it is up to them to run a tournament worthy of Asian Unity and the spirit that MMU set.
We have been listening diligently and would like to thank everyone who has contributed to and participated in this discussion. It is the end of January and, as promised, we have come to a decision.
We believe that there is a general consensus that a united Asian tournament is a good thing. To that end, specific concessions have been made at the AUDC this year. At this stage, it would seem that there is no opposition to using the AUDC as a platform to create a unified Asian tournament. MMU believes that unity can only be achieved if all stakeholders are at a common forum to work their differences out and come to a compromise. Given that institutions can practically only attend one tournament, having two tournaments in two separate locations this year will do nothing to advance unity within the Asian debate community.
Therefore, for the sake of unity, MMU has decided that it will not be holding the Asian Unity Tournament. This decision comes at a heavy price to us but we will bear it because we acknowledge that large sacrifices need to be made when unity is what we are aiming for. We would like apologise to anyone that this decision may inconvenience or disappoint.
MMU would like to encourage all members of the Asian debate community to attend the AUDC this year and use it as the platform to create the unified Asian tournament.
We ask that the institutions that have traditionally exclusively attended either one of the tournaments as well as the administrative organs of both tournaments operate in a spirit of cooperation and flexibility. Unity means that no one gets everything they want, but everyone gets a little of what they want. Recognition of this is critical if we are to make any meaningful headway.
We recognize that there have been concerns with the hosting circumstances this year. Therefore, we encourage EWU to do what it can to make its tournament more accessible and keep its future participants informed, particularly by providing detailed information. Ultimately, we wish EWU luck. From our own experiences, we know that hosting a tournament is a large endeavour and a difficult task; we are ready to assist in any way we can.
We look forward to seeing everyone in May.
Andrew "Ips" Gnananantham
Asian Unity Tournament