Hon Jeyaraj Fernandopulle

Former Minister

Justice J F A Soza
L S Keerthisinghe Percy Valentine PC
Lionel Samaratunga

Former District Judge

Lalitha Seneviratne
S de A Rajapaakse E B K de Zoysa
N Denzil Fernando

Former Mayor of Negombo and Former Minister

T P C Carron

Jeyaraj Fernandopulle, January 11, 1953 – April 6, 2008) was a Sri Lankan politician who served as a cabinet Minister and a Member of Parliament in Sri Lanka.Fernandopulle was born on the January 11, 1953 in Welihena, Kochchikade (about 12 km north of Negombo).He has done the preliminary education (up to grade 1) at Ave Maria Convent, Negombo, then entered Maris Stella College, Negombo for primary and secondary education. In 1972 Fernandopulle became a teacher after leaving the school, but left teaching to become a lawyer in 1974. He passed out from the Sri Lanka Law College in 1977 as an Attorney-at-law. One of his contemporaries at the Law College was President Mahinda Rajapakse who was a MP at that time. Since December 1977 he started practicing as a lawyer mainly in the Magistrates Court and High Court of Negombo and in other criminal courts island wide.He commenced his political career in 1970 as an election agent for an Sri Lanka Freedom Party candidate. In 1984 he was appointed as the chief organizer by the SLFP in the Katana electorate, Western Province in Sri Lanka. From there onwards he has been elected to the parliament five consecutive times in the years 1989, 1994, 2000, 2001 and 2004. Fernandopulle held several Ministerial posts since 1994, which were the Minster of Catholic Affairs, the Minister of Ethnic Concession and National Unity, the Minister of Port and Aviation, and the Minister of Road Development. In 2005 he was appointed Minister of Highways & Road Development, severed as the chief government whip of the parliament.

He was killed on April 6, 2008 along with 14 others by an alleged suicide bomber, who exploded himself at the start of a marathon race which was part of the Sinhala and Tamil New Year celebration in Weliveriya town.


Deshabandu Joseph Francis Anthony Soza is a former Judge of the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka. Soza was born on February 4 1919, in Negombo, Sri Lanka. Following a brief stint as a lawyer, he commenced his distinguished judicial career as a magistrate in Badulla. After serving the original courts as magistrate, district judge and high court judge he was appointed a Judge of the Court of Appeal in 1978. In January 1982he was appointed as Judge of the Supreme Court. He retired from judicial service in February 1984. Soza was the Editor-in-Chief of the Sri Lanka Law Reports for more than 25 years (1979-2005). As the Founder Director of the Sri Lanka Judges’ Institute, he played a major role in the training of judicial officers in the country. As the first Chairman of the Human Rights Task Force (now known as the Human Rights Commission) during the post-insurgency period 1991-1994, he was responsible for investigating cases of human rights abuse by state authorities. Among his celebrated disclosures were the Embilipitiya Students’ Disappearance case.He was also Chairman of the Sri Lanka Foundation and a member of several Presidential Commissions of Inquiry. President Premadasa conferred on him the national honour Deshabandu in recognition of his distinguished service to the country.In his book “Rendering Unto Caesar”, acclaimed civil servant Bradman Weerakoon describes Soza as “an outstandingly independent judge” who “turned out to be a fearless and vocal defender of the rights of victimized people.”

Lionel Samaratunga-Former District Judge from Dewalapola.

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