SRI LANKA: Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake, First Woman CJ

Tuesday, May 17, 2011
The Nation
Southern Asia
Sri Lanka
PeaceWomen Consolidated Themes: 

May 17 will be a historic day in the annals of Sri Lanka's legal sphere when Supreme Court Judge Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake will become Sri Lanka's first woman chief justice.

While it will be a red letter day in that respect, it will also mark another first for Sri Lanka's women in a country that also produced the world's first woman prime minister in Mrs. Sirimavo Bandaranaike and Sri Lanka's first woman president in Chandrika Bandaranayake Kumaratunga.

Indeed, the occasion will be another shot in the arm for the country's fairer sex which has evidently cut a swathe in excelling in exalted public service positions in serving the country.

Incidentally, Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake will become Sri Lanka's 33rd chief justice succeeding her retiring predecessor chief justice Asoka de Silva, when she takes oaths before President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

She has excelled in the legal profession in a long career. She was the Associate Professor of Law and the Dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of Colombo prior to her appointment to the Supreme Court in 1996. She has served as acting chief justice on several occasions dating back to former President Kumaratunga's tenure.