RKW. Goonesekere Memorial Programme on Law and Justice 2023 – Department of Law

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Two events organized by the Department of Law, Faculty of Arts, University of Peradeniya under the auspices of the RKW. Goonesekere Memorial Endowment were held on 22nd February 2023 at the Seminar Room of the Faculty of Arts. The objective of the programme was to celebrate the legacy of late Deshamanya RKW Goonesekere, a remarkable legal academic, legal practitioner and a renowned defender of justice and rule of law in Sri Lanka. He was also the Chancellor of the University of Peradeniya from 2002 to 2007. The RKW Goonesekere Memorial Endowment established at the University of Colombo envisages that the programme rotates each year among public institutions of legal education, and the Department of Law of the Faculty of Arts, of University of Peradeniya was privileged with hosting the event this year. The distinguished speaker of the events was Mr. Saliya Peiris, President’s Counsel, President of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka.

The first programme was themed ‘Struggle for Democracy and Rule of Law in Sri Lanka: Role of the Legal Profession’, and was aimed at creating an opportunity for students to interact with eminent members of the bar who uphold the values considered sacred by Mr. Goonesekera and to promote the ideals of justice through law and integrity of the legal profession. The audience joined the session both in-person and online and comprised of undergraduates of the Department of Law, Faculty of Arts, University of Peradeniya, the Faculty of Law–University of Colombo, the Department of Law–University of Jaffna and the Department of Legal Studies of the Open University of Sri Lanka. Participants commented that the programme was an eye-opener and an immense inspiration for them to embrace their future potentials in the legal profession as social engineers.

The theme of the second programme was ‘Democracy, the Right to Dissent and Preventing Sri Lanka from being a Failed State’, and was an opportunity for sharing creative thought on matters relating to governance and public law with the academic community and the larger public. Many distinguished invitees attended the session including Prof. MD. Lamawansa, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Peradeniya, Dr. Maduranga Kalugampitiya, Head of the Department of English representing the Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Prof. Deepika Udagama, Head of the Department of Law, Prof. Savitri Goonesekere–emeritus Professor of Law, University of Colombo, and members of late Mr. RKW Goonesekere’s family, Mr. Sunanda Udagalama–President of the Kandy Bar Association, legal practitioners, and academics from various departments of study. The Vice-Chancellor in his speech congratulated the Department of Law for providing an opportunity for strengthening of a critical understanding of professional ethics and strengthening of the linkages between academia and the legal profession. Dr. Kalugampitiya, speaking on behalf of the Dean of the Faculty of Arts, commented that the Programme was a fitting tribute to the great legal scholar and practitioner with an activist’s spirit as it provided an opportunity to share cutting edge ideas on a very timely theme with the larger community. It was evident from the opinions shared during the discussion which followed the presentation of Mr. Saliya Peiris, President’s Counsel and the feedback received from attendees of the Programme that it was remarkably insightful, timely, and thought- provoking.

විශ්ව විද්‍යාලය නැරඹීම සීමා කිරීම / University visiting restrictions

විශ්ව විද්‍යාල පද්ධතියේ පැවැත්වෙන වෘත්තීය සමිති ක්‍රියා මාර්ග හේතුවෙන් විශ්ව විද්‍යාලය නැරඹීම සඳහා දැනට අවසර ලබා ගත් පාසල් / ආයතන හට බාහිර පරිසරය පමණක් නැරඹිය

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