Office for Reparations
The Act to establish an Office for Reparations (No 34 of 2018) was passed in Parliament on the 10th of October 2018.
Consequently, on the recommendation of the Constitutional Council, the President appointed 5 members on the 1st of April 2019.
Mrs. Dhara Wijayatilake - Chairperson
Mrs. Dhara Wijayatilake is an Attorney at Law by profession and a graduate in law. She served in the Public Service of Sri Lanka from 1974 to 2015 during which period she held several senior positions including as Secretary to the Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Plan Implementation and Ministry of Technology and Research. On her appointment as Secretary to the Ministry of Justice in 1994, Mrs. Wijayatilake became the first woman in the history of the Public Service in Sri Lanka to be appointed as a Secretary to a Cabinet Ministry.
During her career in the Public Service, Mrs. Wijayatilake took leadership to introduce far reaching legislation to deal with violence against women and children and played a key role in the preparation of the Human Rights Action Plan (2009/10) and served as the Deputy Chairperson of the Committee appointed to monitor the implementation of the proposals of the Lessons Learnt & Reconciliation Commission (LLRC).
Mrs. Wijayatilake has also functioned on the Editorial Board of the Sri Lanka Law Reports, as a member of the National Committee on Women, authored Sri Lanka’s Reports to the U. N. Commission for the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and been a member of several of the Sri Lanka delegations to the UN CEDAW sessions and in 2011 as its leader.
Mrs. Wijayatilake currently serves as the Secretary General & CEO of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (the first woman to hold the post in the 180 year history of the Chamber) and is a Member of the Public Service Commission and of the Law Commission of Sri Lanka. She also serves on the Board of Sampath Bank PLC, as an independent Non-Executive Director. As of April 2019, she has been appointed as the Chairperson of the Office for Reparations of Sri Lanka.
Dr. J. M. Swaminathan - Member
Dr. J. M. Swaminathan holds LLB (Ceylon), LLM, M. Phil. (Colombo) and LLD (Honoris Causa) Degrees and is an Attorney-at-Law. He has been in the legal profession for over 55 years. He is the former Precedent Partner of Messrs. Julius & Creasy and continues to be a Partner. He is a Member of the Law Commission of Sri Lanka and Former Member of the Council of Legal Education. He is also a Member of the Company Law Advisory Commission and Chairman of the Intellectual Property Law Advisory Commission. He was a Member of the Board of the Faculty of Law of the University of Colombo.
Dr. Swaminathan has served as a Member of the Legal Cluster of the National Council for Economic Development and is a Member of the Financial Systems Stability Committee of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka. He has also served as a Visiting Lecturer and an Examiner at the Faculty of Law, University of Colombo and is a Lecturer at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies Unit of the Sri Lanka Law College in addition to being a Member of its Board of Management.
He was a Faculty Member for the LLM Courses of the University of Wales and LLM Colombo and is a Member of the Faculty conducting the LLM Course of the University of Colombo. He is a member of the Council of the University of Colombo and serves on the Board of the Post Graduate Institute of Medicine and Faculty of Graduate Studies. He is also a Member of the Standing Committee on Legal Studies of the University Grants Commission and Chairman of the Board of Studies of the Council of Legal Education. He has supervised several candidates for the LLM Degree of the University of Colombo and Wales, and is presently supervisor for several students for MPhil/PhD Degrees of the Faculty of Law, University of Colombo.
Dr. Swaminathan is a member of the Task Force appointed to draft laws relating to Geographical Indications by the Hon. Minister of Industry and Trade, as well as a member of the Intellectual Property Policy Committee. He serves as a Member of the Task Force on Winding Up, appointed by the Minister of Development Strategies & International Trade. He also serves on the Boards of several public and private companies.
Ms. Sellathamby Sumithra - Member
Ms. Sellathamby Sumithra has been a freelance Consultant, Psychological Counsellor and Researcher on Gender Issues, Reconciliation and Disability for over 10 years. She holds a BA (Hons) and a M.Phil in Philosophy from the University of Peradeniya, as well as a Diploma in Human Rights from the University of Peradeniya, and a Diploma in Psychological Counselling from the National Institute of Social Development (NISD) in Colombo. She has also been a visiting lecturer at the Eastern University of Sri Lanka in the fields of philosophy and psychology for over 6 years.
Ms. Sumithra has worked as a Psychological counsellor at the Muslim Women's Development Trust for the past 3 years. In her capacity as a counsellor, she has compiled first-hand information on the consequences of child marriage and teenage pregnancy which has been used to reform the Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act, to fix Muslim girls’ age of marriage as 18. She was also engaged as a Qualitative Researcher on the project “Identifying Post - War Growth and Economic Opportunities for Women in Sri Lanka’, conducted by International Centre for Ethnic Studies (ICES), from 1st December 2014 to 30th November 2016.
Ms. Sumithra is a Board Member of the Cultural, Psychological Counselling Centre in Kallady, Batticaloa since 2017. She is also a Member of the Muslim Women’s Development Trust (MWDT), Fareethabath, Palavy, Puttalam since 2015 as well as a Member of the ‘SHAMATHAI’ Feminist Collective, Batticaloa since 2015.
Mr. A.A.M. Fathihu - Member
Mr. A.A.M. Fathihu is the Principle Valuer / Managing Director of FM Valuers, a Property Valuation firm, and has over 40 years of experience in his field. He holds a B. Sc. (Hons.) in Estate Management and Valuation from the University of Colombo and a Certificate in Attachment Programme in Valuation Practice obtained from National Institute of Valuation in Malaysia. Mr. Fathihu previously served as a Government Valuer in the public sector from 1977 until his retirement in 2012 at which point he held the position of Government Chief Valuer.
Mr. Fathihu is a Fellow member of the Institute of Valuers of Sri Lanka (IVSL) since 1984 and a Member of Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) since 2017. He also served at the Institute of Valuers of Sri Lanka as the Hony. General Treasurer from 2006 to 2012, as the Vice President from 2014 to 2017, and currently holds the title of President since December 2017.
He is a Member of the Panel of Valuers in various commercial banks including DFCC Bank, NDB Bank, HNB, Sampath Bank and Commercial Bank PLC. since 1985; and is also a Member of the Valuation Review Panel at Bank of Ceylon since 2010.
Mr. Fathihu has attended conferences both locally and internationally, including the Plant & Machinery Valuation Conference in USA (2009), the Commonwealth Chief Valuers Conference in Colombo (2015), the International Valuation Standards Council (IVSC) AGM – in Dubai (2018) and the International Conference on Real Estate Management and in Colombo (2017).
Lt. Colonel (Retired) Rathnapriya Bandu - Member
Sri Vibhushana Vishwakeerthi Janadhi Nandana Lieutenant Colonel (Retired) Rathnapriya Bandu is a retired official of the Sri Lankan Army. He joined the army on 9th January 1990 has undergone the Basic Training at the Sri Lanka Military Academy in Diyathalawa. He has since served in the Special Forces from 1991 to 1999 and the Sri Lanka Sinha Regiment from 1999 to 2005, thereafter taking up the positions of Director Training - Sri Lanka Civil Security Department from 2006 to 2009 and Joint Commanding Officer - Jaffna, Kilinochchi & Mullaitivu, Civil Security Department from 2012 to 2018.
He has been awarded for gallantry twice with both the Rana Wickrama Medal (for Individual or associated acts of bravery in the face of the enemy and performed voluntarily) and the Rana Sura Medal (for distinguished conduct in the face of the enemy). He was awarded with a Special Honourary Award in Derana Sri Lankan of the year 2018 and the Special Peace Awards by the International Peace Foundation in 2019.
The Lt Colonel has been actively involved in promoting peace and reconciliation among both Sinhalese and Tamil communities in the post war context. He has also obtained multiple certifications in military and non-military fields, both locally and overseas. These include the Young Officers Course, Junior Command Course and Commando Course (India), Negotiations and Intelligence Operations During Conflict (South Africa), Transitional Justice and Reconciliation Course (Malaysia), Transitional Justice and Reconciliation Course from Sir John Kotelawala Defence University and a Tourism Promotion Course (China).