Herbert Thambiah

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Herbert Thambiah
39th Chief Justice of Sri Lanka
In office
Appointed by Ranasinghe Premadasa
Preceded by Parinda Ranasinghe
Succeeded by G. P. S. de Silva
Puisne Justice of the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka
In office
Personal details
Born (1926-10-14)14 October 1926
Died 4 October 1992(1992-10-04) (aged 65)
Alma mater Ceylon Law College
University of Ceylon
Profession Lawyer
Ethnicity Sri Lankan Tamil

Justice Herbert Dharmarajah Thambiah (14 October 1926 – 4 October 1992) was a leading Sri Lankan lawyer and judge. He was a Court of Appeal judge, Supreme Court judge and the 39th Chief Justice of Sri Lanka.

Early life and family[edit]

Thambiah was born on 14 October 1926.[1] He was the son of C. R. Thambiah, a lawyer from Jaffna in northern Ceylon. He was educated at Jaffna Central College and St. Thomas' College, Colombo.[1] After school he entered University of Ceylon and graduated with an honours degree in economics.[1] He taught at Hartley College for a period.[1] He then entered Ceylon Law College, obtaining a first class in the final examinations.[1] He became an advocate in 1954.[1]

Thambiah married Ranji Appathuari. They had one daughter - Savithri.[1]


After qualifying Thambiah practised law for a while before joining the judicial service.[1] He rose up the ranks and became a Court of Appeal judge in 1978 and Supreme Court judge in 1984.[1] He was appointed Chief Justice in 1991.[1] He was succeeded by G. P. S. de Silva.[2]

Thambiah died on 4 October 1992 at the age of 65.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Arumugam, S. (1997). Dictionary of Biography of the Tamils of Ceylon. p. 220. 
  2. ^ "Overview". Judicial Service Commission Secretariat. Retrieved 19 October 2013. 
Legal offices
Preceded by
Parinda Ranasinghe
Chief Justice of Sri Lanka
Succeeded by
G. P. S. de Silva