Professor Gamini Lakshman Peiris (M.P.)
Minister of External Affairs
Prof. G.L Peiris having had his primary and secondary education at S. Thomas’ College, Mount Lavinia, which is one the leading private schools in Sri Lanka, obtained the Bachelor of Laws degree with First Class Honours from the University of Colombo, having secured an unprecedentedly high aggregates. In 1968 he won the Rhodes Scholarship and proceeded to the University of Oxford where he obtained the Doctor of Philosophy (D. Phil.) degree in 1971. On his return to Sri Lanka he joined the staff of the University and rose to the post of Vice-Chancellor of the University of Colombo prior to entering into politics.
Prof. Peiris is the author of many books in the field of law which are considered authorities by researchers. He has contributed immensely to international journals by publishing more than 70 papers in prestigious law journals. He was awarded the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D) from the University of Colombo in 1974. He was elected Visiting Fellow of All South College, University of Oxford (1980-1981), Distinguished Visiting Fellow of Christ’s College, University of Cambridge, and Smuts Visiting Fellow in Commonwealth Studies in the University of Cambridge (1985-1986), and Butterworths Visiting Fellow in the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, University of London (1984). He was also Associate Member of the International Academy of Comparative Law and Senior British Council Fellow.
Having entered Politics in 1994, Prof. Peiris was appointed Minister of Justice, Constitutional Affairs, Ethnic Affairs and National Integration and the Deputy Minister of Finance and Planning. From 2000-2002 he served as Minister of Industrial Development and Constitutional Affairs and Deputy Minister of Finance and Planning. In 2002 he was also appointed as Chief Negotiator in the Government’s peace process.
Prof. Peiris served the Minister of Enterprise Development Industrial Policy and Investment Promotion and Minister of Constitutional Affairs from 2002 to 2004. In 2007 he was appointed Minister of Export Development and International Trade, a position which he held until he was appointed Minister of External Affairs in 2010.
Professor Peiris is married with one daughter.