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Anil Obeysekera: A man par excellence

Condolence messages: DN Mar 2 2007

Wellasse Bandara and Udula Peiris

PRESIDENT: President Mahinda Rajapaksa, is on an official tour to China, in a condolence message to Iranganie Obeysekera, wife of the late Lake House Chairman Anil Obeysekera, P.C., conveyed his deep sorrow and regretted his inability to call over personally to share the sorrow and pay his last respects.

“Anil Obeysekera, President’s Counsel from a long-standing prestigious lawyer-family, was a versatile lawyer, a pioneer of progressive politics and a clever administrator, who made use of his experiences to serve the people.

His unexpected and untimely departure is an unbearable loss to the country, to his family and to all of us. The news of his passing away deeply shocked and sorrowed me,” the President’s message said.

The message said: “The late Anil Obeysekera did not confine his talents to his profession alone, but extended beyond to reach the realms of politics. He did so with the purity of heart to serve the people.

I recall with gratitude, his dedicated contribution to the cause of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party and his immense service to the country by holding high offices such as the Sri Lanka’s Trade Commissioner in Czechoslovakia, Chairman of the Petroleum Corporation, Chairman of Sri Lanka Telecom and ultimately the Chairman of Associated Newspapers of Ceylon Limited (Lake House), a post he held till he passed away.”

The message conveyed condolences to members of the bereaved family, including wife Iranganie, son Prasanna and daughter Iromie and wished the late Anil Obeysekera, P.C. the eternal bliss of Nirvana.

President Rajapaksa’s condolence message was handed over to the bereaved family by Minister W.D.J. Seneviratne.

Media Minister:Information and Media Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa in his condolence message was read out at the funeral by acting Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena, said the late President’s Counsel Anil Obeysekera who hailed from a prestigious lawyer family took oaths as an Advocate in 1966 built up a large practice and appeared in a number of sensational cases in Sri Lanka.

In addition to being an eminent lawyer he held high positions in the public service as well as in the political field as an active member of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party, to take up the position of Administrative Secretary and to be a member of the Executive Committee. Minister Yapa conveyed the sympathies of the SLFP, and the media institutions including the Lake House to Mrs.Iranganie Samarasinghe (nee Eheliyagoda), son Prasanna and daughter Iromie and other members of the bereaved family.

SLFP General Secretary: S.L.F.P. General Secretary Maitripala Sirisena thanked the organiser committee of the funeral ceremony for giving him the opportunity to make an oration on behalf of the S.L.F.P. and recalled the enormous service rendered by the late President’s Counsel Anil Obeysekera to take forward the party and conveyed the party sympathies to the bereaved family.

Lake House Acting Chairman: Lake House acting Chairman and Editorial Director Sarath Kongahage’s message of condolence was read out at the funeral ceremony by Lake House General Manager Abhaya Amaradasa.

In his message sent by ANCL Acting Chairman Sarath Kongahage said that the demise of Anil Obeysekera was an irreparable loss to the Associated Newspapers of Ceylon Limited who was very much dedicated to serving the ANCL from the day he took over responsibility as its Chairman.

“I have very close association with him as a member of the legal fraternity and a friend.”

He was a very simple and a kind-hearted man and it was a pleasure to work with him as he shared his knowledge and experience of 35-year service as a lawyer. It was a privilege I had, to work with him at the Lake House.

As he was faithful to the duties entrusted to him, the leaders looked for services more and more and he was assigned with more responsible task by the leaders as they knew him and his trustworthiness. We had the highest service for Lake House, as over Chairman.

He was never failed guiding those came to him for guidance and advice. He was also very helpful always. His untimely death shocked all at Lake House. We have lost a friend indeed. We extend an condolence to members of his family.

ANCL Director Administration and Legal Rasanga Harischandra, BASL President Nihal Jayamanne, PC, SLFP Lawyers Union President D.P. Mendis, PC also spoke.

State Counsel Arjuna Obeysekera, Attorney-at-Law thanked all there present at the cremation ceremony.

The funeral ceremony of the late Lake House Chairman Anil Obeysekera, P.C. took place at General Cemetery, Borella amidst a large gathering last Wednesday evening.