lakshman kadirgamar : One of Lakshman’s relatives former Bank of Ceylon chairman Rajan Asirwatham also influenced him in this regard. -

One of Lakshman’s relatives former Bank of Ceylon chairman Rajan Asirwatham also influenced him in this regard. Lakshman was placed on the SLFP national list. The other big name coming into politics from academia was Gamini Lakshman Peiris. Both Peiris and Kadirgamar played a big part then in winning over voters to the SLFP from what is considered the traditional UNP constituency.

In later years Kadirgamar divorced his first wife. He married again in 1996. He married Suganthi Wijeysuriya a lawyer and senior partner at the law firm FJ and G de Saram. Their wedding was a private one with Chandrika Kumaratunga and Gamani Corea being the attesting witnesses.

Lakshman Kadirgamar, who was assassinated at his home in Colombo on Friday evening, had as profound a grasp of the threat posed by terrorist violence as any political leader in the world today. He had known for almost a decade that he was a high-priority target for assassination by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) whose forces control an area around Jaffna in the north of Sri Lanka. While the head of the political wing of the Tigers has denied responsibility, the Sri Lankan government does not accept the denial. The existence of different factions within the armed Tamil secessionist movement complicates the picture.

Many years later Lakshman Kadirgamar’s portrait was unveiled at the Oxford Union on March 18, 2005 by Rt. Hon Lord Chris Patten of Barnes CH, Chancellor of the University of Oxford . In the 183-year history of the Oxford Union he is the fifteenth office bearer whose bust or portrait is displayed in the Union building. Kadirgamar was also made Hon. Master of the Inner Temple-1995 -the second Asian to be made so after former Malaysian Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman.

He says I look for cheap headlines. It is Minister Kadirgamar who seeks the cheapest possible headlines and publicity making a right royal mess of our foreign policy and fool of himself.’

Lakshman relocated to Britain . He pursued a legal career from 1971 to 74 during which he showed keen interest in human rights. In 1973 he was the special representative of Amnesty International investigating the Buddhist – Catholic violence in Vietnam . In 1976 he became consultant to the International Labour Organization (ILO)in Geneva . In 1978 he joined the World Intellectual property organization (WIPO) and served as its director till 1988.He was the virtual adviser on intellectual property to developing nations of Asia – pacific.

The high profile assassination case was handled by Deputy Solicitor General Kapila Waidyaratne earlier and it was later represented by Deputy Solicitor General Azard Navavi at the Attorney General’s Department. Following investigations by the CID, police, military intelligence and other agencies, the case was first taken up for hearing in a court in Sri Lanka in October 2009.

Kadirgamar then settled down firmly in Colombo and began building up a solid practice.He specialised in commercial, industrial, labour and administrative law. Then came the JVP insurgency of 1971. This had a profound impact on Lakshman. Though not affected directly the JVP revolt made Lakshman feel that he should go abroad. He felt that life in Lanka was going to turn worse with the advent of the JVP. How very prophetic! But ironically enough the very same Lakshman who left Sri Lanka due to the JVP found himself on the best of terms with the “rathu sahodarayas” 33 years later. The JVP found in Lakshman a sincere friend and guide while Lakshman recognized a “like – mindedness” on some issues.

Lakshman came back home, obtained a photograph of the banyon tree and sent it with his compliments in the diplomatic pouch to Colin Powell. Today, it occupies a very special place in Colin Powell’s collection. Those are the delicate human touches of Lakshman Kadirgamar. He never forgot to be human, because he realized that it is human beings that affect the destiny of nations. Colin Powell became his friend and he could see him without much protocol.”

It must be pointed out that Kadirgamar’s affinity towards India and recognition of its pivotal importance in the region was based on enlightened self – interest with emotional underpinnings. Lakshman’s father was an admirer of Mahatma Gandhi

These trips to Jaffna kindled his enthusiasm for discovering his roots. He also read up vividly on Jaffna history and familiarised himself of the evolution and growth of Jaffna . This grasp of history may have played a part in Kadirgamar’s attitude towards separatism. No true intellectual could accept the half – baked versions of history propagated by both the pro and anti – Eelam forces. Later in the sixties he began visiting Jaffna again prospecting for a constituency.

Another less known fact was that Kadirgamar was a discreet consultant avoiding limelight in a number of cases affecting Tamil detainees. He also proffered legal advice to some Tamils affected in the violence in procuring compensation. This was in association with a human rights organization.

Rear Admiral Rajanathan "Rajan" Kadirgamar was born in 1922, the son of Samuel Jebaratnam Christian Kadirgamar and Edith Rosemand Parimalam Kadirgamar, daughter of Edward Ponnusamy Mather. He served in the Ceylon Royal Navy. As a Naval Cadet, he took the sword of honour at the passing out parade at Trincomalee in 1941. As a Sub-Lieutenant, he saw action off the coast of Burma with the Royal Navy. He was awarded Star and Burma Star for war service from 1939-1945.

The Higher Regional Court in Stuttgart convicted the LTTE suspect on two counts, for being a member of a foreign terrorist organization and aiding and abetting a murder, clamping on him a six years and 10 months prison term.