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Shanthi Eva Wanasundera scales great heights



Eva Wanasundera

Shanthi Eva Wanasundera, PC will be sworn in as the 26th Attorney General of Sri Lanka before President Mahinda Rajapaksa, cementing a remarkable milestone in the history of the judiciary of Sri Lanka becoming the first woman Attorney General of Sri Lanka.

She will succeed Mohan Peiris PC.

Shanthi Eva Wanasundera was born in Kurunegala during the period her father Hector Jayasena, a reputed teacher from the south was posted to a school in the Kurunegala district. Jayasena rose to the enviable heights of his determined ambition of becoming an attorney-at-law by his untiring efforts in later years. It is inspiring to learn the story of his incredible achievement. True to form, it was the daily routine of Jayasena escorting his daughter Eva to the College, a student of the Law College.

He observed the phenomenal engagement of the law students in their studies at the time of his visit to the Law College every day.

This encouraged him to pursue knowledge and professional articulation in the study of law accredited with the great success of becoming an Attorney-at-Law. Mrs Sumana Jayasena, a housewife and a mother made a dedicated effort guiding with prudence for her daughter Shanthi Eva to rise to the loftiest echelons of legal profession.

Eva's brilliance in studies was highly impressive from the salad days of her career in school. Beginning her primary education at St. Thomas Girl's College in Matara, she was compelled to change schools on account of her father's profession.

She was fortunate to win a scholarship to study in the USA while she was at Dharmapala, College, Pannipitiya. She left for USA to further her higher studies on a scholarship at Canyon del Oro High School Tucson, Arizona, USA.

On completion of her studies she returned to Sri Lanka and entered the Law College in the early 1970s. Her intellectual aptitude stimulated with masterly performance of success influenced her to achieve her ambitious goal of becoming an Attorney-at-Law. She debuted as an attorney-at-law at the Gangodawila Magistrate Court followed by the District Courts of Mt. Lavinia and Colombo. It was significant feature to note that all relative legal matters under her purview were handled by herself.

She joined the Attorney General's Department in 1979 as a State Counsellor. Subsequently she served as the Senior State Counsellor, Deputy Solicitor General, Additional Solicitor General and Solicitor General. It is a spectacular scenario of ascendance to higher rank as the first woman Senior State Counsellor, first woman Deputy Solicitor General, first woman Additional Solicitor General and the first woman Solicitor General of Sri Lanka in her career.

Eva Wanasundera served as Acting Attorney General 16 times.

She holds a Masters degree in Law of the University of Leicester, United Kingdom. She mastered Trade Law for her LLM degree. Being a professional and senior official of Attorney General's Office, she represented Sri Lanka at key conferences abroad.

She is married to Indrajith Wanasundera, a well renowned businessman from Ratnapura.

Their son Subodha is domiciled in Australia with his wife Chandani and daughter Medanee who is in the USA pursing her higher studies.

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