Saliya Pieris, PC, was this week elected as 26th President of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) for the year 2021-2022 with a thumping majority over his rival candidate Kuvera de Zoysa, PC.
Mr Pieris secured total of 5,178 votes while Mr de Zoysa polled 2,815–a difference of 2363 votes. In Colombo, Mr Pieris scored a massive 2,416 votes while Mr de Zoysa gained 1,146.
He also performed well in Kurunegala where he polled 192 to his rival’s 43; in Galle, where he counted 151 votes to 57; in Kuliyapitiya , where he won 84 votes over 14; and in Matara where he gained 176 to Mr de Zoysa’s 62. In Mt Lavinia Mr Peiris received 71 votes against 38 while in Vavuniya Mr Peiris received 28 against four.
In Jaffna Mr Peiris received 51 votes against 11. The election was held on Wednesday. Senior Attorney-at-Law Rajeew Amarasuriya was re-elected as Secretary uncontested. In Kandy Mr Peiris received 158 against 135 for Mr Zoysa while in Kalutara Mr Peiris received 77 as against 52 for his rival. In Gampaha Mr Peiris received 114 votes against 100 votes.
However, Mr Zoysa performed well in Negombo where he scored 94 over Mr Pieris’s 77; in Ratnapura, where he won 86 to 48; and in Gampola where he received 21 against no votes for Mr Peiris. In four other branches Mr Zoysa received higher number of votes than Mr Peiris. They were Anamaduwa, Balapitiya, Matale, Minuwangoda and Morawaka
Elections were held in respect of 85 branches.
In Attanagalla and Badulla both received equal votes with 22 and 29 respectively.
Senior Attorney-at-Law Rajeew Amarasuriya was re-elected as Secretary uncontested.
The election was held on Wednesday.
Mr Pieris heads his law chambers, practicing in the areas of criminal law, public law and fundamental rights in the Appellate and Original Courts. He was appointed in February 2018 as the first Chairman of the Office on Missing Persons.
Between October 2015 and March 2018, he was a Member of the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka. He was also Deputy President of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka from 2015 to 2017.