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FeaturesNewsJ.C. Weliamuna recognized for his human rights work

J.C. Weliamuna recognized for his human rights work

(Srilankamirror) – The Sri Lanka branch of Transparency International has recognized J.C. Weliamuna for his contributions to the field of human rights.  The citation read at the NIA presentation for him recognized the unyielding integrity, personal commitment and courage of the former executive director of TISL and director of Transparency International.

 Born on 29th of August, 1961 in Walasmulla, Beliatta in the Hambantota district and educated at St. Aloysius College in Galle, Sri Lanka Law College and later at the University of Colombo, Jayasuriya Chrishantha Weliamuna is a lawyer, human rights advocate and an anti corruption activist par excellence.

 Known to his colleagues and friends as WELI, he has risen from his humble beginnings, of which he is proud, to be an outstanding contributor of international repute.

 He is widely recognized in Sri Lanka as one of the leading and outspoken advocates for good governance and as an eminent lawyer, with his counsel being much sought after.

 His pen is as persuasive and powerful as his spoken word. He has written extensively on issues relating to corruption, governance and human rights. He has boldly expressed his views on corruption and abuses of power in Sri Lanka to media, both foreign and local.

 Initiating his legal career in 1989 in the field of commercial law, he moved into the fields of constitutional and human rights law in 1993, which was then at a formative stage. During 20 years of committed legal practice, he has appeared in several sensitive and challenging cases involving human rights abuses and corruption scandals.

 In July 2002, the Trustees of Transparency International Sri Lanka invited him to join the Organization as its first Executive Director, with a clear mandate to revitalize the fledgling institution and give it a new direction and dynamism. It was under his astute leadership that TISL has become a key anti corruption entity in Sri Lanka and an active contributor to the global TI network.

 He served TISL as its ED for eight years, and in these years was the strength behind the institutional building and many interventions on transparency in electoral campaigning, integrity in the police department and in building coalitions with key stakeholders.

 In recognition of his contribution as a pioneer in the Anti Corruption movement in Sri lanka he was conferred the singular honour of being the frist Sri Lankan to be elected to the International Board of Governors of Transparency International Secretariat Berlin. Germany.

 Being a member of the governing body of TIS he joins the top group of the movement guiding policy. His election to this International Board further accentuated his string of international accolades and has positioned him to take key Integrity issues from the country and our region to an international forum.

 J C Weliamuna’s unyielding integrity, personal commitment and courage have influenced many other networks and individuals and for this he has earned admiration and respect from all sections of the society.

 Through his numerous achievements, he has remained connected with the people, with humility and simplicity being among his core personal strengths. Despite threats on his life, persecution and smear-campaigns over the years, he remains one among the few leading outspoken personalities in Sri Lanka who stand for democracy, freedom of speech and human rights.

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