REPRINT THE SANSONI REPORT (98 Aug 26)
On Wednesday the twenty sixth a meeting was held in the Prof. M. B. Ariyapala Hall of the All Ceylon Buddhist Congress to commemorate the services of the late Mr. W. P. Gunathilake the well known lawyer who took a keen interest in Sinhala and Buddhist activities. The meeting was presided by Rev. Elle Gunawansa Thero. Mr. O. S. M. Seneviratne the retired Supreme court judge was the chief guest.
Mr.Gunathilake had been a President of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka as well as the Organisation of the Professional Associations. On many occasions Mr. Gunathilake gave his services as a lawyer free to the Sinhala Buddhist cause so much so that he could be called the lawyer of the Sinhala Buddhists. Whenever a bill was presented to the parliament, which would have been detrimental to the Sinhala people or the Buddha Sasana Mr. Gunathilake was in the forefront of the struggle appearing before the supreme court against the bill.
He will be remembered for ever for the services he rendered to the Sinhala Buddhist cause before the Sansoni Commission. The Sansoni Commission was appointed by the President J. R. Jayawardhane at the insistence of the Tamil racist parties led by Mr. Amirthalingam to look into the so called racial riots in 1977. The aim of the Tamil parties was to have a report condemning the Sinhala people and to go round the world with the report. However a team of lawyers ably led by Mr. Gunathilake ruined the hopes of the Tamil racists. The Sansoni Commission report came out with all the racist activities of the Tamil parties and in particular how Mr. Amirthalingam and the rest incited the Tamil youth against the Sinhala people.
Once the report was published the Tamil racists bought almost all the copies and made sure that they were destroyed. At the W. P. Gunathilake meeting it was decided to reprint the Sansoni Commission report and make it available to the people. A presentation was also made to the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Gunathilake in honour of her father.