G. L. Peiris
Professor G. L. Peiris
|Cabinet Minister of External Affairs|
|Member of the Sri Lankan Parliament
for National List
|Former Cabinet Minister of Export Development & International Trade|
|Former Cabinet Minister of Industrial Development|
|Former Cabinet Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs|
|Born||August 13, 1946|
|United National Party
Sri Lanka Freedom Party
Gamini Lakshman Peiris (Sinhala:ගාමීණි ලක්ශමන් පීරිස්) (born 13 August 1946) (known as G. L. Peiris) is a Sri Lankan politician and academic. Current Cabinet Minister of External Affairs and member of the Parliament of Sri Lanka.
Early life and education
Born to Glanville Peiris, diplomat who was the former Director-General External Affairs, Ceylon's Ambassador to West Germany and Myanmar and Lakshmi Chandrika Peiris. His uncle was Bernard Peiris, the former Cabinet Secretary. Educated at S. Thomas' College, Mt Lavinia, he entered the law faculty of the University of Ceylon, Colombo and won the Mudliyar Edmond Peiris award.He won Rhodes Scholarship to read for PhD at New College, Oxford, and graduated in 1971. He also gained a second PhD from the University of Colombo in 1974.
Joining the academic staff of the University of Ceylon, he went on to become a Professor of Law and the Dean of the Faculty of Law before taking office as the second Vice-Chancellor of the University of Colombo following the assassination of Prof. Stanley Wijesundera during the height of the 1987–89 JVP Insurrection. He served as Vice-Chancellor from 1988 to 1994 until leaving to take up politics. He had Fellowships from Universities of Oxford, Cambridge and London. He was a Rhodes Scholar of the University of Oxford ( 1968-1971) and All Souls College of the University of Oxford in 1980-1981.He was a visiting fellow of the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies of the University of London in 1984, distinguished Visiting Fellow of Christ College, University of Cambridge and SMUTS Visiting Fellow in Commonwealth Studies at the Cambridge University (1985-1986). He was also Associate member of the International Academy of Comparative Law in 1980 and Senior British Council Fellow in 1987.
People's Alliance Government (1994-2001)
Peiris was a close confidant of the former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga, who appointed him as a national list member of the parliament following the 1994 election. Thereafter, Mrs Kumaratunga, then Prime Minister, appointed him as Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs and Deputy Minister of Finance. He was also given the portfolio of External Trade at the start. In a subsequent Cabinet reshuffle, he was given two additional portfolios—Ethnic Affairs and National Integration—which were hitherto held by the President. During his tenure as Justice Minister, he brought in over 30 pieces of new legislation which were considered innovative and in accordance with the needs of modern times.
In 2001, Peiris fell out with President Kumaratunga and defected to the opposition, effectively bringing down the government.
United National Front Government (2001-2004)
After leaving the PA, Peiris joined the opposition United National Party led United National Front (UNF), which captured power in the subsequent general election.
Current government (2004–present)