Desmond: Knight of the black coat

The Executive Committee of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) hailed the late Mr. Desmond Fernando, PC as “one of its most outstanding members” and saluted his contribution to the cause of justice “until the very end”.

In a resolution unanimously passed last week, the BASL referred to the late Mr. Fernando as one of its “beacons” who guided the Bar and the activities of the Association “every step of the way”.

The resolution recalled the unity of the Bar during his unique two separate terms as President and as the first Secretary of the BASL after the ‘fusion’ of the profession in 1974.

It referred to his international stature, being the only Sri Lankan President of the International Bar Association and Vice President of the International Commission of Jurists.The late Mr. Fernando founded the Civil Rights Movement in Sri Lanka together with the late Mr. S. Nadesan QC, the late Nimal Senanayake PC, Mr. R.K.W. Goonesekera and Ms. Suriya Wickramasinghe.

In a media statement issued this week, the BASL said the late Mr. Fernando’s life “will inspire us to aspire to the noble objectives which the Bar stands for and endeavour to reach them”.

A memorial service was held last Thursday at St. Mary's Church, Lauries Road, Bambalapitiya for Desmond Fernando, PC who passed away last week in Colombo. The late Mr. Fernando was twice President of the Sri Lanka Bar Association and the only Sri Lankan to be President of the International Bar Association. He was a founder member of the Civil Rights Movement of Sri Lanka. Pix by Nilan Maligaspe.
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