Kalinga Indatissa hands over nominations for Bar Association presidency

Friday, 11 January 2019 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


Kalinga Indatissa, President’s Counsel handed over nominations for the post of President, Bar Association of Sri Lanka, at the election scheduled to be held in February 2019. The nominations were received by the Returning Officer, Dappula de Livera, PC Solicitor General at the BASL Auditorium recently.

Kalinga Nandaka Indatissa PC

Kalinga Nandaka Indatissa had his early education at St. Mary’s College Kegalle and at Royal College Colombo. After passing his Advanced Level Examination he joined the Sri Lanka Law College in 1982 at the relatively young age of 17 years. At the Law College he excelled in his academic studies and secured 1st Class Honours passes at the Preliminary Year Examination and at the Final Examination. In fact, he was the only student who secured a 1st Class Honours Pass at the April 1985 Examination and was placed 1st in order of merit. 

During his career at the Law College he won the Roman Law, Criminal Law and Law of Evidence prizes. He functioned as the President of the Law College Jaycees and as the President of the Law College Moot Society. He also functioned as the student advisor to the Law College Human Rights Society and the Legal Aid Scheme. In 1984 he was awarded the Sir Cyril De Soyza Gold Medal for being the runner up of the address to the Jury competition.

After having passed his final examination at the Law College, Indatissa devilled in the Chambers of Eardley Perera President’s Counsel, Tivanka Wickramasinghe President’s Counsel and D.S. Wijesinghe President’s Counsel. He was admitted to the Bar in May 1986. After a short career in the unofficial Bar, Indatissa joined the Attorney General’s Department as a State Counsel in January 1987. In the Attorney General’s Department, he served mainly in the civil branch and appeared in many original and appellate courts in Sri Lanka.

Indatissa has been attached to the staff of the Sri Lanka Law College since 1986. He initially commenced his teaching career as a Tutor in Criminal Law. Later on, he lectured in several subjects such as Conflict of Laws, Administrative Law, Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, Civil Procedure – 1 and 2, Legal History and Law of Evidence. He functioned as an examiner attached to the Council of Legal Education in many subjects until 2003. He has also been a visiting lecturer at the Surveyors Institute in Diyathalawa, at the Ceylon Hotel School, the Police Higher Training Institute and has conducted many public lectures and seminars.

In 1991, Indatissa resigned from the Attorney General’s Department and joined the unofficial Bar. Since then he has developed a very lucrative practice mainly in areas involving criminal law, intellectual property, customs related matters, exchange control violations, computer crimes and sports law. He has also produced many juniors some of whom have joined the Judiciary, the Attorney General’s Department, the Army, Navy and many private sector organisations.

From his early days at the Bar, Indatissa was actively involved in the activities of the Bar and the Bar Association of Sri Lanka. He functioned as the Convenor of the Junior Bar Committee in 1988 and 1989, and as the Chairman of the said committee in 1989, 1997-1998, 2001 and 2006. In 1991 he was the Editor of the Colombo Law Society and was a member of the Colombo Law Society Committee from 1990-1993. He was also a member of the Executive Committee of the Bar Association in 1991, 1994-1997 and in 2001. He was elected as the Chairman of the Law Asia Young Lawyers Group in 1993 and was a member of the Law Asia Council in 2002-2003. In 2002 to 2003 he was elected as the Secretary of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka.He was appointed as President’s Counsel in year 2012.

Indatissa has also held public office on many occasions. He functioned as a member of the Central Environmental Authority from 1994 to 2000 and was a trustee of the Mahapola Higher Educational Trust Fund from 1994 to 1996. He was also the Advisor to the Mahapola Professionals Organization from 1993 to 1995. In 2002 to 2003 he functioned as the senior consultant to the Ministry of Constitutional Affairs and during the said period was also an Advisor to the Ministry of Interior. From 2004-2006 he was the Secretary of the Mahabodhi Society of Sri Lanka.

In May 2010 he was appointed as a member of the Interim Committee of Sri Lanka Cricket which he held until June 2011. He was also appointed as a Director of Sri Lanka Telecom PLC in May 2010.

Indatissa has had the opportunity to extend his career in foreign jurisdictions. In 1999, he appeared in Monaco, France at an arbitration held by the International Athletics Association and successfully defended Susanthika Jayasinghe which enabled her to participate at the Olympics in Sydney where she won the Bronze Medal. He also defended Arjuna Ranatunga at a match fixing inquiry conducted by the ICC and represented the former National Captain as junior counsel to S.L. Gunasekera. 

In 2011, he defended Manju Wanniarachchi in Delhi India and later at Arbitration in Malaysia. Indatissa also appeared in the Commission appointed to inquire into the killing of General Denzil Kobbekaduwa and the commission appointed to look into the killing of the Late Lalith Athulathmudali. Currently he is the Lead Counsel for former Sri Lankan Cricket Captain, Sanath Jayasuriya at a pending investigation held by the ICC.

Indatissa is also a prolific writer who has made a very valuable contribution to the legal literature in Sri Lanka. He has written many articles to the newspapers and law journals and has authored 46 books on many topics of the Law. His books on Civil Procedure, Bail, Criminal Law, Electronic Transactions, Computer Crimes, Law of Injunctions, Drafting and Supreme Court Rules are much sought after.

Indatissa has also been a much sought after resource person who has contributed immensely in seminars, workshops, programs and National Law Conferences organised by the Bar Association of Sri Lanka. He is a regular resource person at the Practical Training programs organised by the Sri Lanka Law College.

In August 2018, he received the National Award for the “Sustainable Development Goals Role Model Leader” awarded by the Sri Lanka United Nations Friendship Organization in recognition of his contribution to legal education and the legal profession in Sri Lanka.

The elections for the post of President Bar Association of Sri Lanka is scheduled to be held on 20 February 2019 and if elected Indatissa will take office as the 25th President of the BASL.