18 September, 2020

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RKW Passes Away

RKW Goonesekere, a great teacher, exemplary lawyer,  teacher of teachers, courageous defender of civil liberties, and above all a great individual who influenced generations  passed away last night peacefully, says the Lawyers Collective.

R.K.W. Goonesekere,

R.K.W. Goonesekere,

Remains will be at his residence 304/5, Park Road, Colombo 5  from 10.30am Tomorrow,  (18th -Tuesday).

Cremation at Jawatta Cemetery on 19th Wednesday at 4.00 pm.

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  • 7
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    Truly, a great and gifted teacher of teachers has passed away. I was fortunate to be his student in the 60s at Peradeniya. Mr Goonesekere was a great jurist who had an easy grasp of complicated issues of the law. He explained these issues with a rare clarity to his students. We, his students, stood in reverential awe of the extent of his knowledge. Yet, he carried his knowledge and wisdom with such humility. His knowledge of the Roman Dutch Law and of criminal law was astounding. The manner in which he taught provided the model for the many students who themselves became teachers later. He was certainly my model and throughout my own life as a teacher of law I have aspired to be as good and kind a teacher to my students as he was to me. All of us, his students, loved and respected him as a splendid teacher.

    More than as a formidable teacher and scholar, Mr Goonesekera will be admired for his work as a human rights lawyer at a time when the country was going through great turmoil. He stood firm in the face of the chicanery that had begun to despoil the political life of the country. He fought hard against the abuse of corrupt, official power. His example will inspire many to come in the future stand firm against the total collapse of the once great system of law and justice that existed in the country. His memory will ensure that others will come to restore the old days of the rule of law that existed in Sri Lanka.

    On a personal note, I was among Mrs Goonesekera’s first batch of students. In the moment of her great sadness, it may bring some comfort to know that a distant student shares her grief.

  • 2
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    A great man has passed away.It is a shame that you find no articles at all in our National press(which may be expected) but even in Colombo Telegraph while we find so many articles about several riffraff.We find only Prof.Swarnarajah’s comment. He was a great advocate of the cause of the downtrodden. He was equally good on his feet in the Courts in cases involving constitutional matters. Justice Sarath N Silva wouldn’t give him a chance to argue the case of his client in re Nallaratnam Singarasa. He was so arrogant.He repents after giving wrong judgements. Those who had been late Mr.Goonesekera’s students at the Law faculty in Peradeniya University and at Law College when he was the Principal and all the Voet Inners (Law College Hostel)will miss him immensely. It is a loss to the entire nation.

  • 0
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    R.K.W.Goonesekere was an Advocate Par Excellence.He did not fight cases but causes,especially of the downtrodden.What a tragedy that

  • 2
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    R.K.W.Goonesekere was an Advocate par Excellence.Many are the causes that he fought in court especially on behalf of the downtrodden.What a tragedy that great men of his calibre had to appear in court before arrogant small men!
    I have still to see a newsitem either in the print or electronic media except [C.T]regarding his death.This itself is an indictment on the the times that we live in.

  • 1
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    R I P Sir !!

  • 1
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    A great man indeed, he never went after the PC title, I am sure people close to him know why. Surely its worth a mention here. While I have paid my condolences to his wife Savitri and son Nalin who is my contemporary I am astounded that the crusaders for justice, human rights, press freedom etc etc who post here in droves have not had the time to at least say a single word about this honourable man. So are all this crusaders are there only to be anti-goverment, anti- Rajapakse ?

  • 1
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    Funnily enough, its the members of the much maligned tamil diaspora who has seen it to fit this honourable gentleman here :-)

  • 3
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    Funnily enough, its the members of the much maligned tamil diaspora who has seen it to fit to honour this great man here :-)

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