Thursday, February 23, 2012

Wijeyadasa Rajapakse elected Bar Association president

Wijeyadasa Rajapakse has been elected president of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka at its annual election of office-bearers.

At today’s (Feb. 22) election, he received 1,297 votes, while his challenger Tirantha Waraliyadde obtained only 676 votes.

Around 7,000 votes from across the island were eligible to vote at the BASL election.

Born in 1959, he went to school in Hambantota and graduated from Colombo and Sri Jayewardenepura Universities.
Starting as a lawyer in 1984, he has now served as a president’s counsel for 11 years.

Mr. Rajapkase is the recipient of several awards, including the best young lawyer in 1988, the best Sri Lankan in 2007 and several titles.

He started life as a banker at the age of 18 years and held several key positions - chairman of the Sri Lanka Press Council, deputy chairman of World Press Council (1989 to 2001), chairman of COPE, legal manager of Lake House, director of the Rupavahini and Film Corporations, legal consultant to the fisheries ministry and minister of bank affairs in 2005.

Also a writer, he has authored 17 books - nine of them on law, and others on media and literature.

Mr. Rajapkasa’s unsuccessful opponent, Mr. Waraliyadde, now aged 59 years, was educated at Royal College, Colombo and entered Law College in 1975.

He took oaths as a lawyer in 1979 and began a career at the attorney general’s department.

Mr. Waraliyadde appeared for several high-profile cases, including the murders of Saman Kumara, Udathalawinne, Angulana and Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra.

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