|The Honourable Justice Deshamanya
|Puisne Justice of the Supreme Court of Ceylon|
December 17, 1964
|Appointed by||Sirimavo Bandaranaike|
|Chairman of the Commercial Bank of Ceylon|
April 1980 – March 1985
|Chancellor of the University of Jaffna|
January 1, 1979 – 1984
|Born||December 17, 1906
Colombo, British Ceylon
|Died||December 27, 1993
Colombo, Sri Lanka
|Spouse(s)||Valamba Manicavasagar nee Selliah|
|Relations||Sir Ponnambalam Arunachalam, Sir Arunachalam Mahadeva, D. M. Swaminathan Justice Siva Selliah|
|Children||Arunachala Manicavasagar, Nirmala Ragunanthan nee Manicavasagar|
|Residence||78 Ward Place, Cinnamon Gardens, Colombo, Sri Lanka|
|Alma mater||Colombo Law College,
Royal College Colombo
Deshamanya Manicavasagar Vaithalingam (December 17, 1906 - December 12, 1993) was a Sri Lankan lawyer, Puisne Justice of the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka, Chancellor of the University of Jaffna and Chairman of the Commercial Bank of Ceylon.
Vaithalingam was born on December 17, 1906 to prominent Colombo stockbroker Mudaliyar Arunachala Vaithalingam. Both his paternal and maternal family hails from the affluent town of Manipay, Jaffna. He began his education at the Royal College, Colombo where he excelled in academics and went on to obtain a degree in law from the Colombo Law College.
Vaithalingam joined the judicial service 9 years after being called to the bar, as an Acting Magistrate in Mallakan. For over two decades, he functioned as a Magistrate and District Judge in different parts of the island and in October, 1962, he was appointed a Commissioner of Assize. He continued as such till his appointment to the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka in 1964 by President Sirimavo Bandaranaike.
Mentioned below are a few of the numerous judgments in which Justice Vaithalingam was involved. All of the cases below are from the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka and no judgments from lower courts have been included.
Cases presided over
- Mohideen v. Village Council, Nintavur - NLR - 469 of 68  LKSC 22; (1965) 68 NLR 469 (14 September 1965).
- The Solicitor General v. WM Podisira - NLR - 502 of 67  LKSC 23; (1965) 67 NLR 502 (27 August 1965)
- Thenabandu v. Samarasekera - NLR - 472 of 70  LKSC 1; (1967) 70 NLR 472 (26 November 1967)
- Jayasena v. The Queen - NLR - 369 of 68  LKSC 14; (1966) 68 NLR 369 (12 May 1966)
- Dahanayake v. Kannangara - NLR - 260 of 68  LKSC 24; (1966) 68 NLR 260 (7 February 1966)
- Don Sadiris.L v. Heenhamy.L - NLR - 17 of 68  LKSC 10; (1965) 68 NLR 17 (20 July 1965)
- Babanisa v. Ukku - NLR - 305 of 68  LKSC 27; (1965) 68 NLR 305 (13 January 1965)
- The Queen v. Abeysinghe - NLR - 386 of 68  LKSC 11; (1965) 68 NLR 386 (21 June 1965
Cases in which referred to for Common Law purposes
- Arumugam Coomaraswamy v. Andris Appuhamy and Others - SLR - 219, Vol 2 of 1985  LKSC 8; (1985) 2 Sri LR 219 (19 June 1985)
- Wellington v. Amerasinghe - SLR - 41, Vol 1 of 1987  LKSC 38; (1987) 1 Sri LR 41 (10 November 1986)
- Subair v. Isthikar - NLR - 397 of 77  LKSC 5; (1974) 77 NLR 397 (3 July 1974)
- WAHemadasa v. JL Sirisena - NLR - 201 of 69  LKSC 29; (1966) 69 NLR 201 (22 September 1966)
- Jeyaraj Fernandopulle v. Premachandra De Silva and Others - SLR - 70, Vol 1 of 1996  LKSC 14; (1996) 1 Sri LR 70 (9 July 1996)
- Gunaratne Menike v. Jayatileke Banda - SLR - 152, Vol 2 of 1995  LKSC 43; (1995) 2 Sri LR 152 (13 December 1994)
In Retirement, he was a member of both the Citizen Committee and the Delimitation Committee among many others. A devote Hindu, he also served as President of the Educational Society for many years.
As Chancellor of the University of Jaffna
Vaithalingam was appointed as the first Chancellor of the University of Jaffna by the President of Sri Lanka with effect from the first of January, 1979. In the course of his tenure, which lasted half a decade, he presided over the first convocation held at the Veerasingam Hall on the 13th of September 1980 and also delivered the very first convocation address. He was also conferred with a Doctorate by the University.
Vaithalingam was awarded the Deshamanya Award within two years of its founding in 1987. He was the first Sri Lankan Tamil to receive the award and the appearance of common ground between the government and a prominent Tamil caused an adverse reaction from the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. The LTTE called on him to refuse the reward, if he valued his life; however, Vaithalingam defied the outfit and accepted the honour.
In the citizens committee chaired by his good friend and former colleague on the bench, O. L. de Kretser, he worked on the Report of the Commission of Inquiry, on the Tragedy of January Tenth 1974 along with Bishop Sabapathy Kulendran of the Church of South India in Jaffna.
Vaithalingam married Valamba, the eldest daughter of Nannithamby Selliah of Rosmead Place - son of Visva Udayar Sangarapillai Nannithamby and Broker of Mackwood & Co. - & his wife Sellam - daughter of Kandarthamby Kandiah (Chattambiar) - and sister of Justice Siva Selliah, High Court Judge.
They have two children: (1)Arunachala Manicavasagar, JP, who married Skandaleela - daughter of Proctor Sivakolundu Rajendran (JP, NP) and his wife Kamalambigai, youngest daughter of Stowell Elaithamby Murgesampillai - and his younger sister, (2)Nirmala Ragunanthan, who is married to Ragunanthan Thambimutha, Managing Director of Raniyo (Pvt) Ltd. Both of his children continue to live in Colombo while his grandchildren reside in North America.
Vaithalingam and his wife were very prominent within the upper echelons of society. However, he and his wife were both very religious and devout Hindus and always kept an eye on their charity work. Vaithalingam was very close to his wife, and left his high society life for a spiritual undertaking and much subdued persona following her death.
Vaithalingam remained close friends with Junius Richard Jayewardene up until his death in 1993. As per an anecdote by Justice Naharaja, when the former president came to visit Vaithalingam upon his deathbed, Vaithalingam in a sour state joked about the workings of society by telling Jayewardene that though he had time and again bested him in every academic endeavor throughout their academic career, he had only become a Supreme Court Judge whilst it was Jayewardene that had become President - effectively questioning the workings of society. They all, however, quickly laughed the statement away.
-  Archived January 22, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
- "Board of Directors | Commercial Banking | Commercial Bank Sri Lanka". Combank.net. Retrieved 2013-11-23.
- "Old Royalists Association in the United Kingdom (ORAUK)". Oldroyalists.org.uk. Retrieved 2013-11-23.
- "CommonLII Results - manicavasagar". Commonlii.org. Retrieved 2013-11-23.
- "Welcome to UTHR, Sri Lanka". Uthr.org. Retrieved 2013-11-23.
- "National Awards". Presidential Secretariat - Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. Retrieved 2014-06-02.
- Sri Lankan Ethnic Crisis: Towards a Resolution By R. B. Herath (p.55)
- "Opinion". Nation.lk. Retrieved 2013-11-23.
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