The Bar's Shining Son _ Kamalasabayson
The birth anniversary of former Attorney General and President's
Counsel late K C Kamalasabayson (PC) will be observed today (12).
Kamalasabayson who was affectionately referred to as "Saba" in the
Attorney-General's Department was a towering figure whose name will be
written large in the annals of Sri Lanka's legal history. His profound
scholarship, brilliance as an Attorney-General, significant service in
the spheres of legal, social and religious activities and high moral
character singled him out as one of the greatest Sri Lankans in modern
K C Kamalasabayson
He received his early education at S Thomas' College, Mount Lavinia
which has produced many illustrious sons of Sri Lanka who have left
indelible impressions on the sands of time. His Alma Mater had instilled
in him some of the great values like sense of justice, fairplay,
integrity and desire to treat everybody equally irrespective of race,
religion, caste, creed or social status. He always conducted himself
from the sturdy platform of right and wrong. He knew no discrimination
and rose above narrow parochialism, regionalism, sectarianism and
Further, he was one of the most polished, persuasive and hard working
Attorney-General's whose methodical and meticulous preparation of the
work entrusted to him was an exercise in unbounded patience, total
dedication and also maximum assistance to the Bench. In fact, he
discharged his responsibilities with unsurpassed distinction and
Blessed with a seemingly inexhaustible supply of energy, bubbling
enthusiasm, inspiring leadership, quickness of thought, unyielding
determination, dedication, devotion to duty, high degree of discipline
and profound commitment, he attained eminence as a great civil lawyer.
Kamalasabayson's entire working life as a lawyer was spent at the
Attorney-General's Department and he was always a source of strength and
encouragement to all the officers in the Department. He kept his doors
opened to the entire staff of the Department. He empathized with their
problems and his wide counsel was always greatly appreciated by anyone
who sought his advice.
The life of Kamalasabayson could be summed up in the words of the
great Bard. His life was gentle and the elements so mixed in him that
nature might stand up and say to the world, "this was a man."
In fact, it is very often said that "the truly great are not the men
of wealth, of possessions, not men who gain name and fame, but those who
testify to the truth in them and refuse to compromise whatever be the
cost. They are determined to do what they consider to be right. We may
punish their bodies, refuse them comforts, but we cannot buy their
souls, we cannot break their spirits. Whoever possess these
invulnerability of spirit even to a little extent deserves our
admiration." Indeed, his greatness was unique. There was a ring of
authenticity and nobility of courage and earnestness in whatever he did.
He always maintained human and humane qualities like simplicity,
humility and humanity and was constantly and consistently pragmatic and
practical in his approach to the problems in the Attorney-General's
Department. He was willing to seek out and accept solutions wherever
they could be found.
Kamalasabayson on completion of his secondary education at S. Thomas'
College, entered the Sri Lanka Law College and passed out as an Advocate
with first class honours in November 1972. Thereafter he worked in the
Chambers of G F Sethukavalar and Bala Nadarajah and joined the
Attorney-General's Department as a State Counsel on August 1, 1974.
By sheer dint of hard work and his command of the English language
combined with the knowledge of the law and with his winsome ways, he won
the confidence, appreciation and recognition of the Bench and the bar as
an up and coming member of the legal profession. When he walked into the
Court, he knew his brief like the back of his hand and what he did not
know was not worth knowing. His Court craft was admirable and unmatched.
Kamalasabayson was promoted as a Senior State Counsel in 1983.
Thereafter he was elevated to the position of Deputy Solicitor-General.
Subsequently, he was appointed as additional Solicitor-General and in
1998, he was appointed as Solicitor General. In 1999, he was appointed
as Attorney-General which post he held until his retirement.
While serving in the Department, he obtained his Master's Degree in
Law from the University of Colombo in 1994 and another Master's in Law
from the University of London in 1995. He was a visiting lecturer and
examiner at the Sri Lanka Law College and also a visiting lecturer at
the Faculty of Law, University of Colombo.
Social and religious activities
Kamalasabayson had one of the finest legal brains. He could think
clearly, logically and incisively. He was a brilliant lawyer with great
intellectual attainments, personal charm, courteous cheerful disposition
and a warm hearted, genuine, sincere friend with a fund of common sense.
Besides, he was very much engaged in social and religious activities
which brought him tremendous appreciation and recognition from all
communities and denominations. It is said that "behind the success of
every man there is a woman."
His wife "Ramani" was a source of encouragement and a tower of
strength in all his endeavours. She is a personification and embodiment
of all the virtues of a Hindu woman. They 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 the
hazards and hassles of life. She provide Kamalasabayson all the comforts
and found happiness only in his happiness.
His only daughter Vidya Kandeepan is an Attorney at Law who holds a
Master's Degree from the Faculty of Law, University of Colombo and his
son-in-law Balendra Kandipan holds a Master's Degree in Business
Management (MBA) and is a multi-faceted and multi-dimensional
personality of high intellectual calibre, who is very much involved in
art and culture and a television personality and is held in high esteem
by all the communities. Kamalasabayson shone as a bright star among the
galaxy of several legal luminaries and an intellectual giant in his own