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Reception for Sri Lanka Attorney General & Public Trustee – ASLLUK

Reception for Sri Lanka Attorney General & Public Trustee

Attorney General of Sri Lanka addresses a gathering of British Lawyers organised by ASLLUK

On Tuesday 08th March 2016 the Association of Sri Lankan Lawyers in the UK hosted an event to welcome the Attorney General of Sri Lanka Mr Jayantha Jayasuriya and the first female Public Trustee of Sri Lanka Mrs Tharangani Disanayake who had travelled to the UK from Sri Lanka.

The event was hosted at 9 Bedford Row chambers whose venue is delightfully elegant and intimate – the perfect setting in Legal London for such an occasion. Around 75 guests attended the event to hear the guest speakers and gain from their experiences and know- how.

The evening was opened by Mr Wasantha Tennakoon, the General Secretary of ASLLUK, who passed on his thanks to the Sponsors of the event: Lloyd’s PR Solicitors, Sriharans Solicitors, Satha & Co Solicitors and Mr Lalith De Kauw.

Mr Lee Karu QC, Vice President of ASLLUK followed Mr Tennakoon to formally welcome the guests and the speakers. He was very helpful in his speech as he took the time to explain to the guests the role of a Public Trustee in Sri Lanka and the history which led to the creation of the post in the country. He paid tribute to Mr Jayantha Jayasuriya by highlighting his illustrious career before being appointed as Attorney General in Sri Lanka. What came across from his speech is how lucky Sri Lankan is to have an Attorney General as accomplished and decorated as Mr Jayasuriya.

Mr Jayasuriya came up to address the audience following Mr Lee Karus welcome. He was pleasantly humble in his manner and thanked the audience for making him feel at home away from home. He went onto remind the audience about the similarities between the legal systems in Sri Lanka and the UK and how the foundations of the legal system in Sri Lanka were established by the British during their rule there. Mr Jayasuriya focused on two Acts which were introduced to Sri Lanka before independence: the Penal Code and the Evidence Ordinance. He elaborated on the importance of these two Acts to the foundations of the legal system in Sri Lanka and went onto explain how these Acts have evolved over time and how they have adapted to a changing society in Sri Lanka. What became clear from Mr Jayasuriya’s speech and his depiction of his Journey as a lawyer is his untainted love for the law, justice and equality within society. Towards the end of his speech Mr Jayasuriya paid special thanks to Mr Fritz Kodagoda who was present in the audience. Mr Jayasuriya reminisced on how Mr Kodagoda had guided him when he was a young lawyer in

Sri Lanka – it was a touching moment as Mr Kodagoda was witnessing Mr Jayasuriya address him as the Attorney General.

Mr Jayasuriya welcomed Mrs Tharangani Disanayake to take the stand. Mrs Disanayake was warmly received by the audience and she started her speech by thanking the audience for receiving her. It was most fitting to have Mrs Disanayake speak on this occasion as the 08th of March was International Women’s day. Mrs Disanayake, being the first female Public Trustee, took the opportunity to highlight the need for greater gender equality in Sri Lanka especially within the legal sector. She touched on the fact that the legal system in Sri Lanka is dominated by men and how more action was needed to improve opportunities for women to enable them to rise through the ranks of legal professions. She asked that the audience take away the important messages that had been conveyed that evening before handing over the stand to Mr Fritz Kodagoda, Vice President of ASLLUK.

Mr Kodagoda very graciously paid special thanks to the prominent guests who had taken the time to attend the event. Among these guests were His Excellency the High Commissioner Sugeeshwara Gunaratne, Simon Devenport QC, Tom Row QC, Jo Sidhu QC, Aswini Weeraratne QC, Adam Vaitilingham QC, Michael Horowitz QC and Judge, Michel Aslangal, Gillian Higgins- Barrister, Kirsty Southerland- Barrister, Parosha Chandran – Barrister.

After the speeches were concluded the guests were invited to stick around for food and refreshments. ASSLUK always outdoes itself when it comes to food and I’m sure those of you who have attended an ASSLUK event in the past would agree. The evening was perfectly rounded off as guests had the opportunity to mingle and converse with the speakers and to gain from their undeniably rich experiences.