Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake took oaths as the first woman Chief Justice of Sri Lanka.
She took oaths before President Mahinda Rajapaksa this morning filling the vacancy created by the retirement of former Chief Justice Ashoka De Silva. Born to teacher parents in Kurunegala, Shirani Anshumala Bandaranayake had her education at Ginigathhena primary school, Kegalla Girls College, Tholangamuva Primary School, and Tholangamuva and Anuradhapura Central Colleges. In 1980 she obtained her Bachelor of Laws degree from the faculty of Law of the Colombo University.
She was awarded the Master of Philosophy degree by the University of Colombo in 1983. She was enrolled as an Attorney-At-Law of the Supreme Court in the same year. In 1986 she obtained her Ph. D. in Law from the London University being the first woman to obtain such a degree from a foreign university. She has served as a lecturer of the Law Faculty in the Colombo University. In 1992 she became the Dean of the Law Faculty. She has served as an Associate professor and acting Vice Chancellor on several occasions. In 1996 she was appointed as a judge of the Supreme Court. She has held important positions in the legal sector and has delivered a number of significant judgments for 14 years. She is the first woman to be appointed to the highest position in the legal field of Sri Lanka.