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  • Personal Information

    Full name

    Lalith William Samarasekera Athulathmudali


    26th November 1936
    Colombo, Sri Lanka


    D.D. Athulathmudali, Srimathi Samarasekera Athulathmudali


    Srimani Anoma Athulathmudali (Married 1981)


    Serela Athulathmudali


    Sujaee Athulathmudali, Dayanthe Athulathmudali

  • Education

    Primary Education

    Ladies College, Colombo 07 (1941)

    St. John's College, Panadura (1942)

    Royal Primary School (1943-1947)

    Secondary Education

    Royal College, Colombo 07 (1948-1955)

    Achievements, Prizes & Awards

    First Class competency in G.C.E Ordinary Level

    Hon. G.L Rupasinghe Scholarship (1952)

    Best all-rounder student of the year (1947)

    Senaka Gunasekera Memorial Prize for General Knowledge (1951-Senior)

    Senaka Gunasekera Memorial Prize for General Knowledge (1950-Junior)

    Governor General's Prize (1954)

    Steward Prize

    E.W. Jayawardena Memorial Prize for English Literature

    Sir James Peiries Memorial Prize for English Essay

    Goonarathne Memorial Shakespeare Prize

    Dr. C.A. Hewawitharana Memorial Prize for European History

    C.L. Wickramasinghe Memorial Prize for Constitution

    Makeen Memorial Prize for Religion Knowledge

    B.F De Silva Memorial Price for Lanka History

    English History Prize

    Class Prizes (1947, 1948, 1949, 1950, 1951, 1952, 1953, 1954)

    Extra Curricular Activities - School

    First public speech - Vote of thanks in Prize Giving (1947) - Chief guest - Hon. E.A. Nugawela, The Minister of Education


    Vice President - United Nations Students' Association

    Represented Ceylon at the "New York Mirror Forum” in USA

    Member - College Debating Team – Won Best Debater Award

    Co Editor - College Magazine (1955)

    Secretary - Tennis Club

    Participated in "Quiz Kid" - Radio Quiz Programme

    Committee Member - English Literature Club (Junior/Senior)

    Head Prefect - Primary School (1947)


    All Ceylon Public School Athletics Champion & Team Captain (1952)

    Athletics Colours (1953)

    Team member - Cricket, Tennis, Swimming & Cadetting

    Athletics Captain (Junior) – Won Tarbet Trophy

    House Captain

    Colombo South Inter-Schools Sports meet - September 1954 (Under 19)

    Hurdles 120-Yard - First Place

    Relay 100X4 - Second Place

    100-Yard - Third place

    Royal College Sports meet - August 1954 (Under 19)

    100-Yard - First place

    Hurdles 120-Yard - Second Place

    All Ceylon Public School Athletics Champion - 1952 (Under 16)

    Hurdles 80-Yard - First Place(New Public School Record)

    100 Yard - First Place

    Relay - First Place

    All Ceylon National Schools Athletic Championship - October 1951 (Under 16)

    100-Yard - First place

    Relay 100X4 - Second Place

    Inter-Schools Athletic Championship - October 1953 (Under 16)

    Relay 100x4 - Third Place

    Inter-Schools Athletic Championship - September 1952 (Under 16)

    Hurdles 80-Yard - First Place

    Relay - First Place (Team Captain) place

    Colombo South Inter-Schools Sports meet - September 1951 (Under 16)

    100-Yard - First place

    Long Jump - Third place

    Royal College Sports meet - August 1952 (Under 16)

    100-Yard - First place

    Hurdles 80-Yard - First Place

    Relay 100X4 - First Place

    Long Jump - Second Place

    Shot put - Second place

    Royal College Sports meet - August 1951 (Under 16)

    100-Yard - First place

    Long Jump - Second place

    Hurdles 80-Yard - Third Place

    Royal College Sports meet - August 1950 (Under 14)

    Relay - First Place

    100-Yard - Second place

    Long Jump - Third place

    Royal College Sports meet - September 1948 (Under 12)

    100-Yard - Second place

  • Higher Education

    1955 - Entered University of Oxford - Jesus College

    1958 - B.A. (Honour School of Jurisprudence) Oxford

    1960 - M.A. (Jurisprudence)

    1960 - BCL (OXON)

    1963 - L.LM. University of Harvard ('A' Average) - Thesis was accepted to the University Library's collection - 99 Marks

    1990(Nov) Conferment of the Degree of Doctor of Letters (Honoris Causa) by the University of Jayewardenepura - Sri Lanka

    1990(Dec) Conferment of the Degree of Doctor of Letters (Honoris Causa) by the University of Peradeniya - Sri Lanka

    Achievements, Awards & Scholarships

    Won the Lord Sankey Award for Jurisprudence - Oxford (1959)

    N.B. Thesis accepted for permanent collection of Harvard (L.LM.)

    West German Government Scholarship - German Language (1958)

    Ceylon Government Scholarship (1959)

    Fellowship - Harvard Law School (1962)

    Extra Curricular Activities - University

    Secretary - Oxford Union (1956)

    Treasurer - Oxford Union (1957)

    Librarian - Oxford Union (1957)

    President - Oxford Union (1958)
    First Ceylonese(Sri Lankan) to be elected to the office of the President of the Oxford Union

    President - Oxford Majilis (The Asian Society)

    Founder President - Oxford Buddhist Society

  • Professional Qualifications

    1959 Barrister-at-Law - Gray's Inn

    1959 Tutor - Jesus & University Colleges, Oxford

    1960-1962 Lecturer - Faculty of Law - University of Singapore

    1963 Deputy Dean - Faculty of Law/University of Singapore

    1964 Asst. Editor, Malaya Law Review

    1962-1964 Guest Lecturer,

    • Hebrew University, (Jerusalem)
    • Edinburgh University (Scotland)
    • Alahabad University (India)

    1964 Advocate of the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka (now Attorney-at-Law)

    1967-1974 Lecturer in Jurisprudence - Ceylon Law College

    1967-1974 Visiting Lecturer & Examiner of,

    • University of Sri Lanka
    • Institute of Chartered Accountants
    • Council of Legal Education

    1975 Called to the Bar of New South Wales, Australia (Barrister-at-Law, N.S.W. Australia)

    1985 Appointed President's Counsel

  • Publications

    "Way of Necessity" - South African Law Journal (1959)

    "Preventive Detention in Malaya" - Journal of International Commission of Jurists (1961)

    "The Woman Charter" (with G.W. Bartholomeu Malaya Law Review (1961)

    "Law of Defamation in Ceylon" - International & Comparative Law Quarterly - London (1964)

    "Ceylon - Current Constitutional Problems" - Indian Yearbook of World Affairs (1965)

    "The Rule of Law and the Common Man" - I.C.J. Conference Paper (1966)

    "Ceylon - Joint Tort Feasors & Contributory Negligence" - Journal of Ceylon Law (1970)

    "The Constitutional Court" - Sri Lanka experiment Malaya Law Review - Memorial Edition (1975)

    "Fortlacoming Negotiations on Multifibre Agreement" World Economy Qtiarterly Journal (June) Volume III

    "Conflict in Sri Lanka - Perceptions in the U.S. Role" - Forum on Ethnic Conflict & Indo-Lanka Peace Accord - Scandinavian Journal of Development Alternatives 1989 - (Sept) Vol. 8 (III)

    "Exclusion of Evidence & the Promotion of Justice" (Dr.W.D.L. Fernando Memorial Oration / Medico-Legal Society of Sri Lanka) Colombo University Journal (1991)

    "Farmer or Scientist?" - Asian Farming Systems, Asian Institute of Technology - Publication (1991)

  • Politics

    Member of the Policy Making Body of the United National Party (UNP) - 1973-1991

    Member of the Working Committee of the United National Party - 1973-1991

    Elected Member of Parliament (Ratmalana Constituency) - July 1977 to December 1988

    Elected Member of Parliament (Colombo District) - February 1989
    Obtained the highest Preferential Votes in the history (235,447 Votes)

    Member of the Select Committees of Parliament appointed to draft the,

    • Constitution of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka
    • Law on Franchise and Elections.

    Chief Organizer of United National Party in Colombo District (1989)

    Chairman - Asian Forum of Parliamentarians on Population & Development - Sri Lanka Branch (1990)


    Minister of Trade (1977)

    Minister of Trade & Shipping (Sept. 1978)

    Minister of National Security & Deputy Minister of Defence (1984)

    National Security & Defence and Minister of Trade & Shipping (April 1988)

    Minister of Agriculture Food & Co-operatives (1989)

    Minister of Education & Higher Education (April 1990)
    Resigned from the cabinet position in August 1991

    Democratic United National Front - DUNF

    Formed a new party "Democratic United National Front" (November 1991) - Co-President

    Became the first President of the party (1992)

  • International Conferences & Seminars

    Official Capacity

    Elected President of the UNCTAD Ministerial Meeting of Trade & Development on Debt-Relief to Developing Countries - Geneva 1978

    Led Sri Lanka Delegations to Inter-Parliamentary Union & Commonwealth Parliamentary Association Conferences held in Jamaica, Lisbon, Oslo (1978-1983)

    UNCTAD/GATT Conferences Led Sri Lanka delegations to Geneva, Manila, Belgrade - 1979-1983

    Chairman of the Asian Group 1979-1983

    The first joint Meeting of the Japan Sri Lanka Business Co-operation Committee President 1979

    Leader of the Special Mission of the Bangkok Multi-Lateral Trade Agreement sponsored by ESCAP/UNITC (March 1988)

    Leader of the Delegation to Food and Agriculture Organization Sessions - Rome (1989)

    Leader of the Delegation to Commonwealth Education Ministers Conference - Barbados (1990)

    Personal Capacity

    Teachers of Law South-East Asia (Singapore 1962)

    Teachers of International Law (1964)

    International Commission of Jurists (1966)

    EEC - Asian Partnership in World Economy - The Royal Institute of International Affairs - (Belgium 1978)

    Development Conference on North-South Dialogue (New Forest Conference) - 1978.

    Independent Commission for Development Issues (Brandt Commission) - 1978

    The 2nd Young Commonwealth leaders Conference (Colombo 1979)

    North-South Dialogue - Liberal View international Colloquium - Ottawa, 1979 (Friedrich Naumann Stiftung/Foundation)

    Annual Sessions of World Congress of Labour and Brotherhood of Asian Trade Unionists (Manila 1979 - Bangkok 1984)

    International Colloquium on Freedom & Human Dignity in Development Strategies - Berlin 1980 - (Friedrich Naumann Stiftung/Foundation)

    International Chamber of Commerce (ICC)

    Conference on International Trade & Textile and Clothing Multifiber Arrangement (MFA) - Brussels (1980)

    World Bank Seminar on Export Development - Washington (1982)

    International Jaycees Conference - Osaka (1982)

    Guest Speaker at the Summer Programme "Distinguished Speaker Series" of the Maryland University, U.S.A. (1988)

    Guest Speaker - Forum of the UNFPA Sessions, Amsterdam declaration (Chairman of the Pacific Group - 1989)

    Guest Speaker / Resource Person (UNFPA) for the 3rd General Assembly of the Asian Forum of Parliamentarians for Population & Development, Bangkok (1990)

    Key Note Address - Asian Farming Systems Research & Extension Symposium 1990, Asian Institute of Technology

  • Interests & Other

    Language Proficiency

    Sinhala, English, Tamil, French & German


    Reading, Farming

    Social, Religious & Welfare work

    Founder Trustee - "Mahapola Higher Education Scholarship Trust Fund" (First established with his personal contribution)

    Vice President - The Mahabodhi Society of Sri Lanka

    President of the Nikaya Arakshaka Dayake Sabawa to the Maha Sangha of the Amarapura Nikaya and Ramannaya Nikaya

    Vice President - Jatika Sevaka Sangamaya (Trade Union)

    President - Sri Lanka Amateur Athletic Association (1988-1991)

    President - Sri Lanka Badminton Federation (1988-1990)

    President - Nondescript Cricket Club (NCC) (Until 1992)

    Patron - Sri Lanka Association of Musicians

    Vice Patron - United Nations Association of Sri Lanka

    Member of the Selection Committee - Rhodes Scholarship Trust (Ceylon) (1968-1971)

    Founder - Ratmalana Electorate Development Foundation

  • Assassination


    23rd April 1993

    Course of Death

    Two shots to the chest by a gunman


    Kirulapone Ground (Now Lalith Athulathmudali Ground), Kirulapone, Sri Lanka. While Addressing an election rally