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V Murugesu

V Murugesu Senior Partner of ‘Murugesu and Neelakandan’ law firm in Colombo passed away on March 20, 2010. Death comes to all but when it comes to one who is close in a relationship that was built on values that have mattered, parting is indeed sad.

My association with him spanned for a period of more than four decades. It is indeed a Herculean task to write about this multifaceted magnetic personality.

He had his primary education at St. Aloysius’ College Ratnapura, Seevali Vidyalayam Ratnapura and Jaffna Neervely Hindu College. He had his secondary education at St. Joseph’s College, Colombo where he was successful in the London Matriculation Examination. Thereafter he gained admission to Sri Lanka Law College and took oaths as a Proctor of the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka in November 1949.

He commenced his legal career in a very old leading Law firm F J & G de Saram Colombo where after sometime he was elevated as a Partner. He commenced practice as a Lawyer on his own on September 6,1962.

Legal work

In the year 1968 he established a partnership Law firm named Murugesu and Kularatne with Late V W Kularatne as his Partner. Kandiah Neelakandan who was in his twenties was taken as a Professional Assistant in January 1970. Late Kularatne left in August 1970. From the year 1990 the business was run under the name and style of Murugesu and Neelakandan which is a leading Law firm situated in Colpetty. This firm handles all types of legal work.

With the passage of time Neelakandan got married to Sasithevi the eldest daughter of Murugesu who is an Attorney-at-Law and Partner in this Law firm. Nithyanandan Murugesu - Attorney at Law, the only son of Murugesu is a Partner in this firm. Murugesu’s three grand children are in the Legal Profession of whom two are Partners in this firm. What is unique and unparalleled is that this firm had three generations of Lawyers as Partners. His second daughter Renuka is married to A R Surendran President’s Counsel. He was proud of this long line of lawyers in his family. Saint Thiruvallavar’s saying who just or unjust lived, shall soon appear by each one’s offspring shall be the truth, be clear. This saying fits in well and is appropriate to him.

International Law conferences

As a Lawyer he was one of the most polished and hard working individuals whose methodical and meticulous preparation of the work entrusted to him was indeed an exercise in limitless patience, total dedication and utmost endeavour not only to give of the best for his client but also to be of maximum assistance to the Bench. He had completed his 60 years of practice as a Lawyer in November 2009.

He was also a Solicitor of the Supreme Court of England. He was made a life member of a Law Society of England on his completion of 50 years. He was invited as guest speaker for the International Conference on Arbitration held in the year 1960 in Bangkok. He functioned as the secretary of the committee which drafted the first Companies Act of 1982 of Sri Lanka. He has made presentations in several International Law conferences. He was the legal consultant of several leading organisations including Sri Lanka Cancer Society, Arch Bishop of Colombo, Bishop of Colombo, Ramakrishna Mission.

He was extremely religious. He was a sincere devotee of Yogar Swami of Jaffna who gave him blessings to establish the Law Firm of his own. He was a devotee of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother and the Founder Trustee of Sri Aurobindo Center in Wellawate, Colombo 6.

Newspapers

This large centre comprising well-equipped library, a prayer hall and an auditorium was built by him out of his own money. It is in the fitness of things that his body was kept for viewing by public in this Centre. He has published a book titled ‘The Cosmic Dance of Lord Shiva in the vision of Sri Aurobindo’.

This book is rich in contents and it is eminently suited to mark, learn inwardly, digest and act on. He had hosted Sri M P Pandit in his residence in Colombo on two occasions when Pandit came to Sri Lanka on an invitation to deliver lectures on the teachings of Mother and Sri Aurobindo. He had got these talks recorded and published a book titled ‘Integral Perfection’.

He has written to the Sri Lankan newspapers and also delivered talks on the teachings of Mother and Sri Aurobindo and compiled a book titled ‘God in Life.’ Sri M P Pandit has written a foreward to this book. He had been publishing and circulating Service Letters to all fellow seekers monthly. I am in his mailing list for this service letter. I received the service letter No.204 for the month of March 2010 which bears the date March 14, 2010 one week after he passed away. In this service letter he has quoted the Mother as follows:

He was an ideal husband, loving father, lovely grandfather and an understanding relative and friend of all he had associated with. Mr and Mrs Murugesu were an idyllic couple intrinsically blended into one being through the rough and tumble of life, finding comfort, solace and happiness in each other through all hazards and hassles of life.

He was a wonderful grandfather which is clearly evident from the care and interest he has taken in his granddaughter late Pradharshini Surendran when she was critically ill. What he had done and where and where he had gone for the sake of this child cannot be described in words. He had dedicated the book titled ‘The Cosmic Dance of Lord Shiva’ to this granddaughter of his.

His life and work can be best summed up in a single line of Horace Justum et tenacem propositri virum meaning a man upright and tenacious of purpose. Harmony was his way of life. He has left an unfillable void.

The good and noble never die, they continue to smell sweet and blossom in the dust. May his soul Rest in Peace and rise in glory.

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