Farewell, Our Beloved Judicial Educator

The first thing he taught us was the Swan Theory. The last thing he taught us was the Swan Theory. In between there may have been hundred more theories, principles, laws and rules that he taught us of. Yet, itwas this theory that he believed in religiously. A theory that he lived by and never did let go of even at the face of inevitable death. For him, it was a way of life. He was always a graceful swan in the judicial waters of Sri Lanka.

He was a godfather in every sense to the children of the Sri Lankan judiciary. The judicial children who often swim in troubled waters. He taught each of us to be a graceful swan gliding with poise and elegance, seemingly effortless, keeping out of sight from the outer world the laborious persistent struggle of paddling beneath the surface to keep afloat and propel.  He may have seen more judicial tears shed by them than any other for he had the type of heart that held them close with kindness, compassion and understanding. He may have advised them to graciously rectify a wrong done by them or courageously bare an injustice done to them. The strict disciplinarian in him was never destructive but ever nurturing for such was the spiritual greatness of the judicial educator in him. In him we saw the rare reflections of true happiness at our achievements, true empathy at our downfalls. All this made him a great human being, thus a great judge, a great educator.

Having a lot more yet to give to us, he fought all illnesses fearlessly with a mind so strong and tireless for so long. Yet, the tired and fragile body seemed no longer able to support the greatness of that mind. Even, for many days, when his body lay resting on a hospital bed, his mind still full of wisdom to be imparted, was still with us. We the unfortunate children of the country’s Judiciary have lost him at a time when we want him the most.  Yet, the rich reservoir of words spoken and written by Honorable Justice P.H.K. Kulatilake, Retired Judge of the Court of Appeal, Former Co-Director of the Sri Lanka Judges’ Institute, will continue to enrich us for many years to come. They will remain in our minds, in our books to be shared with many generations of Judges to come.

So, let us bid farewell “To Sir with love”.


By Chanima Wijebandara

Judicial Officer

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