G.L. Peiris

G.L.Peiris is Minister of Enterprise Development, Industrial Policy Investment Promotion of Sri Lanka in the Ranil Wickremesinghe cabinet. He is an academic, Rhodes Scholar, author, university pedagogue. He read for his Doctorate in Philosophy from both the Universities of Oxford (1971) and Colombo (1974) and had completed both Doctorates by the relatively young age of 28, who entered the national political arena through the PA National List in 1994 as a part of a programme to infuse academics and the intelligentsia into the Cabinet of Ministers.

He was appointed as Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs and Deputy Minister of Finance under the first Government of President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga in 1994. He was also given the portfolio of External Trade at the start. In a subsequent Cabinet reshuffle, he was given two additional portfolios- Ethnic Affairs and National Integration - which were hitherto held by thePresident. During his tenure as Justice Minister, he brought in over 30 pieces of new legislation which were considered innovative and in accordance with the needs of modern times.

Significantly, many of them were passed without division. The most conspicuous among them were the Bill for the Permanent Commission for the Prevention of Bribery and Commission and the National Child Protection Authority Bill.

As Minister of Constitutional Affairs, he played a major role in the new Draft Constitution and its proposed implementation. He chaired a record 77 meetings of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Constitutional Affairs.

As Deputy Minister of Finance, he presented five national budgets in Parliament from 1995 to 1999. He led numerous delegations to the World Bank and the IMF and also to the Asian Development Bank.

Prof. Peiris, was Professor of Law, Dean of the Faculty of Law and later Vice Chancellor of the University of Colombo before he took to politics. He has Fellowships of the Universities of Oxford, Cambridge and London. He was a Rhodes Scholar of the University of Oxford ( 1968-1971) and All Souls College also of the University of Oxford in 1980-1981.

He was a visiting fellow of the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies of the University of London in 1984, distinguished Visiting Fellow of Christ College, University of Cambridge and SMUTS Visiting Fellow in Commonwealth Studies at the Cambridge University (1985-1986). He was also Associate member of the International Academy of Comparative Law in 1980 and Senior British Council Fellow in 1987.