Justice Barnes Ratwatte dead

Justice Barnes S.C.Ratwatte passed away after a brief illness yesterday (9) in Colombo. He was eighty five years old.

He was the brother of Premier Sirimavo Bandarananaike, Dr. Seelvali Ratwatte, late Dr. Mackie Ratwatte and Clifford Ratwatte. He is survived by his wife and three children.

He was educated at Trinity College Kandy and the Law College, Colombo. He passed out as an Advocate and was appointed as a Magistrate in 1960. He later held the offices of Public Trustee and an Appeal Court President in 1974. During his career as a judge he worked hard to uphold the rule of law and the independence of the judiciary.

In 1983 when he retired as a judge of the Supreme Court it was in the background of the then UNP government sponsored demonstrations against judges after the courts gave a ruling which embarrassed the government. On that occasion at the Ceremonial Sitting of the Court to bid farewell to him he said " There is no cause for despondency, a clear silver lining is seen on the unsavoury clouds.

He was also a keen wildlife enthusiast and an environmentalist. - (WN)