Fiji’s Resident Justice of Appeal, Court of Appeal Justice Suresh Chandra passed away after a short illness on Friday evening, the Fiji Sun reported today.
He was laid to rest in Suva yesterday while a traditional ceremony will be held in Sri Lanka later.
While confirming his demise, acting Chief Justice Kamal Kumar said the Judiciary lost a mentor.
“With much regret and sadness I wish to announce the passing away of Honourable Justice Chandra. Honourable Justice Suresh Chandra, was Resident Justice of Appeal, Court of Appeal, Fiji passed away on 10 April 2020 at the Colonial War Memorial Hospital, Suva at the age of 72 years after a short illness.”
After his retirement as Supreme Court Judge in Sri Lanka he joined the Fijian Judiciary in September 2012, as Resident Justice of Appeal. He also served as Supreme Court Judge in Fiji and was Chairperson of the National Judicial Education Committee.
Justice Chandra served in various committees within the Fiji Judiciary and had served as Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representation to the United Nations. Justice Chandra took keen interest in cricket and was an International Cricket Commentator.
“I found Honourable Justice Chandra to be a humble and kind-hearted person who acted as advisor and mentor to Judicial Officers and staff. He will definitely be missed by the Fiji Judiciary and those closely associated with him. I on behalf of all Judicial Officers and staff of Judicial Department offer our deepest sympathy and condolences to Justice Chandra’s family.”
Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Commission Director Ashwin Raj said: “I am saddened to learn of Justice Suresh Chandra’s untimely demise. The indefatigable Justice Chandra will be remembered for his unwavering commitment to the rule of law and access to justice during some of the darkest times in our history.
“A man who never lost faith in Fiji and whose love for this country could only be matched by his love for his family and his passion for cricket. Justice Chandra was an intellectual, humble and nurturing including to those who were junior in rank and profile both within the Judiciary and outside. His departure is an incalculable loss for those of us whose lives were touched by his infectious smile.”
He is survived by his mother, his wife Savithri Suresh Chandra; his two sons Kosala Suresh and Rasantha Suresh; four grandchildren Vehan Suresh, Ranithu Suresh, Sayuni Suresh and Uveen Suresh; three brothers and two sisters.