Rajeev Amarasuriya wins by landslide majority to be elected as BASL Secretary

Monday, 2 March 2020 02:37 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Attorney-at-Law Rajeev Amarasuriya was last week elected as the Secretary of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL), securing 84% of the outstation vote and 81% of the Colombo vote with a landslide majority, which is considered to be the highest percentage margin in BASL elections in the recent past. 

At this election, which was conducted at 84 polling divisions across the country and presided over by the Acting Solicitor General Sanjay Rajaratnam PC, Amarasuriya secured a total of 3,584 votes whilst his opponent, former BASL Treasurer Dinoo Dharmaratne, secured 754 votes, leaving Amarasuriya with an overall lead of 2,830 votes. 

Pursuant to this election, on 28 March at the BASL Convocation, Amarasuriya will replace Kaushalya Nawaratne, who will be completing two years in office, as the new Secretary of the BASL. 

Rajeev Amarasuriya

Kalinga Indatissa PC, who was elected as the President of the BASL for the year 2019/2020, was re-elected uncontested to continue as President for the year 2020/2021, and will also formally take office for the new year at the Convocation on 28 March.

Amarasuriya’s campaign was on the foundation of a ‘strong, independent and professional leadership’. “I visited many Bars across the country and met a cross-section of lawyers representing outstation, Colombo, corporate, junior and women lawyers, and discussed with them the issues and concerns faced by them. I personally wrote to each and every member of the Bar several months back and invited them to share with me their issues and concerns as well. That gave a foundation for my proposed Action Plan for 2020/2021,” said Amarasuriya. 

His proposed Action Plan highlights the key focus areas as ‘Expand’ Geographical Reach and Connectivity; ‘Enhance’ Professionalism, and ‘Build’ the Future of the Profession through the Junior Bar. 

Amarasuriya holds a Bachelor of Laws LL.B. (Hons.) Degree from the University of Colombo and is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), UK, and a Chartered Global Management Accountant. He is also an alumnus of the Harvard Kennedy School (Executive Education). 

Amarasuriya has the distinction of having topped the batch at the Attorneys-at-Law Final Examination in 2003 and winning the Justice Siva Supramaniam Gold Medal, as well as the Sir Lalitha Rajapakse Memorial Prize and the Sethukavalar Memorial Prize for Commercial Law.

In 2013, he was awarded the CIMA Star Gold Award by CIMA as the most outstanding Member below the age of 40 at the time.

Amarasuriya commenced his legal career in the chambers of Sanjeeva Jayawardena PC, and practised for over a decade before commencing his own legal practice and chambers several years ago; and now, in his 16th year in practice, specialises in the areas of public law and commercial law. He also provides Corporate and Legal Consultancy in a wide range of civil and commercial law areas.

Amarasuriya has been a Member of the Bar Council for several years, was the Chairman of the National Law Conference in 2015, and the Convenor of the LAWASIA – Sri Lanka Golden Jubilee Conference in 2016, which raised a profit of over Rs. 25 million for the BASL. Amarasuriya has been a visiting lecturer and examiner in tax law at the Faculty of Law of the University of Colombo and has also been an examiner at the Sri Lanka Law College. 

He was also a Commissioner of the Securities and Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka for two terms from 2015 to 2019 and is the President of the Alumni Association of the University of Colombo.  Amarasuriya’s nomination was proposed and seconded by President’s Counsels K. Kanag-Isvaran PC, Faisz Musthapha PC, Romesh De Silva PC, Ikram Mohamed PC, Anil Silva PC, Sanjeeva Jayawardena PC, Shammil Perera PC, Kushan De Alwis PC, Kuvera De Soysa PC, Mohan Weerakoon PC, Dr. Sunil Coorey, and Amal Randeniya.