Topic: Lakshman Kadirgamar

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Sri Lankabhimanya Lakshman Kadirgamar PC (April 12, 1932 – August 12, 2005) was a Sri Lankan diplomat, politician and lawyer. After a distinguished career as a lawyer and international humanitarian, he was appointed as foreign minister of Sri Lanka in 1994 by President Chandrika Kumaratunga. He achieved international prominence in this position due to his wide ranging condemnation of the LTTE (Tamil Tigers) and his efforts to have them banned internationally. He served until 2001, and then again from April 2004 until his assassination in August 2005, which was carried out by an LTTE terrorist sniper. The suspects arrested in his murder case were released after no evidence was found after over two years in custody.

Lakshman Kadirgamar came from a Tamil family; his brothers were S.J.C.Kadirgamar Jr QC, Rear Admiral Rajan Kadiragamar and Colonel Bai Kadirgamar. He was born in Manipay, Jaffna, and spent his early childhood in the southern part of the island. An alumnus of Trinity College, Kandy, he captained the college first eleven cricket team in 1950 while also competing in the college athletic and rugby teams. In recognition of his all round performance in academic and extra curricular spheres, he was awarded the prestigious Ryde Gold medal for the best all round student.

Kadirgamar went on to study law at the University of Ceylon, from which he graduated with a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) (Honors) degree in 1953. He was the top student in the First Class at the Advocates Intermediate Examination in 1953. In 1954 he won the scholarship for the candidate placed first in the First Class at the Advocates Final Examination of the Ceylon Law College and was awarded prizes for the Law of Evidence and the Law of Persons and Property. He was admitted to the Ceylon Bar in 1955. Later, at Balliol College, Oxford, he received his B.Litt. degree. Kadirgamar, like several other Sri Lankans, was elected to serve as President of the Oxford Union.

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