He hails from a family in Horewela, Walasmulla, in Ruhunu-Giruwapattu and he had his primary and secondary education in his village area. thereafter he came to Colombo to commence his career as a banker in Bank of Ceylon. He obtained his Bachelor of Law Degree (LL.B) from the University of Colombo and got through the examinations in Sri Lanka Law College. Then he bade adieu to his banking career and enrolled as an Attorney-at-Law of the Supreme Court. He established an extensive practice ranging from the Magistrate Court to the Supreme Court. His exemplary professional skills were recognized by bestowing on him “The Outstanding Young Person Award” (TOYP) in the field of law in 1998. He was appointed as a President’s Counsel as the youngest to achieve that honour in the history.
The Organisation of Professional Association bestowed on him the much coveted “The Apex Award” in 2013, a lifetime award granted to any professional in his respective field. While he engaged in his professional career, he has held many positions both in quasi-judicial institutions as well as in other public bodies. (a list appears at the end) He has held the office of Vice President of the Colombo Law Society, and later he was elected as the President of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka with a recorded majority votes in 2012/13. It was the only occasion where a Member of Parliament was elected to the said office.
Just after the parliamentary election held in April, 2004, Hon. Chandrika Bandaranaike, the then President, offered him a seat in the Parliament from the National List together with a Cabinet Portfolio. He opted only to accept the Membership of the Parliament without a portfolio. Hon. Mahinda Rajapaksa, the then President appointed him as the Minister of State Banks Development in 2005 and resigned from it after a few months. In 2006 he was elected as the Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) and after due investigation he presented two controversial reports in 2007 amidst the life threats that came from many quarters. But he demonstrated that he had adhered only to his own conscience in his politics.
With the startling revelations of corruption in the public sector by the corrupt practice of politicians and officials, State has lost over Rupees 300 Billions, the political field was jerked. Based on the recommendation of the said COPE reports, the Supreme Court ordered to take back the Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation, Lanka Hospital, (former Apollo Hospital) lands in Colombo Port, privates bank shares in many banks etc, to the State which had been sold to the private sector for a petty mess of pottage by the then government in 2002/03. Thereby the public were benefitted with re-acquired resources worth over Rs. 200 Billion (Rs. 200,000,000,000/-).
In recognition of the unprecedented and brave contribution he made, LMD Media Services bestowed him the most prestigious award “Sri Lankan of the Year–2007”. Gandhian Foundation in India conferred on him “Gandhian Peace Award” in 2011.
He fought alone in the Supreme Court to annul the agreement by which the then government in 2003 had sold Sri Lanka Transport Board to a businessman for a petty sum and finally he successfully got a judgment cancelling the said agreement. If not for that, by now the Government could not have had a public bus transport service called Central Transport Board (CTB).
He has the courage to face many challenges from many quarters. When he was offered a membership of Parliament from the National List, he refused it and contested in Parliamentary Elections held in 2010 and 2015 from the Colombo District and people reposed their confidence in him in both the elections. In the Government formed in January 2015, he held the Ministerial Portfolios of Justice, Prison Reforms, Labour and later Ministry of Buddhasasana, Cultural Affairs, Higher Education and Education. He effectively created an environment for the Court System and Attorney-General Department to dispense the justice independently and fairly. He did provide many infrastructure facilities to courts in all over the country.
He gave the leadership as the Chairman of UN Vesak Celebration Committee- 2017 to conduct the most successful and significant Buddhist Celebration and Conference in May 2017 with the participation of delegations from 74 countries including Heads of States.
He personally attended at the archaeological sites which were exposed to danger and made arrangements to protect and preserve them. He successfully took measures to save Rangiri Dambulu Raja Maha Viharaya, Galle Port and Sinharaja Forest from being delisted from the World heritage List by the UNESCO.
In May 2018, he assumed the duties of the portfolios of the Minister of Higher-Education and Cultural Affairs on invitation of the then President and the Prime Minister. By the time our State university education had come to an almost dysfunctional situation for a period of three years over SAITM university issue. There had been over 410 protests and rallies disrupting our educational system as well day-to-day life of the public. He resolved the said protracted and complex issues within a period of one week and secured the future of SAITM students by enacting a legislation in the Parliament.
The sacrosanct and primary object of a government is to protect and secure its sovereignty and the lives of the people irrespective of any differences, political or otherwise. Alienation of national resources and betrayal of people’s sovereignty could be done only by treacherous leaders with slavish mentality.
He has represented the people of this country for a period of 16 years in the legislature with an unblemished record of a true patriotic. He is an eminent lawyer and an academic with three doctorates. He has authored 32 books on diversified subjects and he draw splendid sustenance by engaging in aesthetic works. He is the lyric writer for three music albums, Hiru Sandu Arana,Pem Paura and Siyumali Mala.
In this general election, he comes forward from Colombo District. He is a politician who dedicated all his perks and allowances from Parliament towards the well-being of the general public. Donation of an operation theatre to Apeksha Hospital in Maharagama, mainly sponsoring the donation of “Ransivigeya” to Sacred Tooth Relic Temple in Senkadagala are among them and many more he did with no publicity.
Maha Vihara Vansika, Shyamopali Sect, Asgiri Chapter conferred on him “Dharma Neethi Visharada Sasana Vidushana” honorary title in 2008 in appreciation of the services he rendered for the upliftment of the Buddha Sasana.
He is the true voice against corruption! The professional symbol of modern Sri Lankan Politics!