Sri Lanka gets the 1st female Attorney General
Solicitor General Shanthi Eva Wanasundara President’s Council was sworn in as the new Attorney General before President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday.
Her appointment was approved by the parliament last Friday as it is a constitutional requirement that appointments for high ranking judicial officers should be sanctioned by Parliament. Wanasundara's name was proposed to the post by the President
Mrs. Wanasundara, Sri Lanka's first female to the post, will assume office as the 26th Attorney General in the country and will mark a milestone in the history of the Attorney General's Department that spans over a century. Former Attorney general Mohan Peiris retired at the end of August.
Mrs. Wanasundara, a graduate of University of Leicester Law School, was also the first woman Senior State Counsel, first woman Deputy Solicitor General, first woman Additional Solicitor General and the first woman Solicitor General.
Shanthi Eva Wanasundera was born in Kurunegala during the period her father Hector Jayasena, a reputed teacher from the south was posted to a school in the Kurunegala district. She started her primary education at St. Thomas Girl's College in Matara, she was compelled to change schools on account of her father's profession.
She won a scholarship to study in the USA while she was at Dharmapala, College, Pannipitiya. She left for USA to further her higher studies on a scholarship at Canyon del Oro High School Tucson, Arizona, USA.
On completion of her studies she returned to Sri Lanka and entered the Law College in the early 1970s. She debuted as an attorney-at-law at the Gangodawila Magistrate Court followed by the District Courts of Mt. Lavinia and Colombo.
She joined the Attorney General's Department in 1979 as a State Counselor.
Subsequently she served as the Senior State Counselor, Deputy Solicitor General, Additional Solicitor General and Solicitor General. It is a spectacular scenario of ascendance to higher rank as the first woman Senior State Counselor, first woman Deputy Solicitor General, first woman Additional Solicitor General and the first woman Solicitor General of Sri Lanka in her career.
She has also served as Acting Attorney General 16 times.
Meanwhile, Sri Lanka’s Chief Justice is also a female and she, Dr. Shirani Bandaranayke was sworn in as the Chief Justice of the country on 18 May this year.
- Asian Tribune -