The eminent public servant and one time Secretary General of Parliament Sam Wijesinha passed away at a private hospital last evening.
Mr. Wijesinha (93) was the Secretary General of Parliament from 1964 to 1981 and was the first Ombudsman of Sri Lanka and served in this capacity for nearly 10 years.
During his tenure as Secretary General of Parliament Mr. Wijesinha had to oversee the promulgation of two Constitutions of Sri Lanka. The first was the Republican Constitution of 1972 and the other the Democratic Socialist Republic Constitution of 1978. With regard to the 1972 Constitution, a Constituent Assembly was first set up -- which involved additional work. However, the change of a constitution involves lot of preliminary work and Mr. Wijesinha was able to perform all the additional responsibilities efficiently and the transition from one constitution to the other was effected smoothly.
Mr. Wijesinha joined the Attorney General’s Department in 1948 as a state counsel. He held posts in several international organisations, including the International Parliamentary Association, Commonwealth Parliamentary Union and Asian Parliamentary Union.
He served as the chairman of the Dispute Resolution Council of the Press Complains Commission till recently.
Mr. Wijesinghe was the father of three, including the ruling party MP Professor Rajiva Wijesinha.
His funeral will take place at 4.30pm at the General Cemetery, Kanatte today.