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
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.
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.
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
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.