Ravi Karunanayake

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Ravi Karunanayake
Ravi Karunanayake.jpg
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Assumed office
22 May 2017
President Maithripala Sirisena
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe
Preceded by Mangala Samaraweera
Minister of Finance
In office
12 January 2015 – 22 May 2017
President Maithripala Sirisena
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe
Preceded by Mahinda Rajapaksa
Succeeded by Mangala Samaraweera
Minister of Commerce, Consumer Affairs
In office
12 December 2001 – 6 April 2004
President Chandrika Kumaratunga
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe
Member of the Sri Lankan Parliament
for Colombo District
Assumed office
Personal details
Born (1963-02-19) February 19, 1963 (age 54)
Nationality Sri Lankan
Political party United National Party
(2000 - Present)
(1998 - 1999)
Democratic United National Front
(1989 - 1998)
Other political
United National Front
(2001 - Present)
Spouse(s) Mela Karunanayake
Children Onella, Shenella and Minella
Alma mater Royal College, Colombo
Occupation Politics
Profession Management Accountant
Website Official Website

Ravindra Sandresh Karunanayake, MP (born 19 February 1963) is a Sri Lankan politician. He is the current Minister of Foreign Affairs and a Member of Parliament for the Colombo District. Karunanayake was the former Cabinet Minister of Commerce, Consumer Affairs from 2001 to 2004. He is also the Assistant Leader of the United National Party (UNP) and is also the Colombo District Leader and the chief organizer for the Colombo North Electorate.

Early life[edit]

Born to Tissa Anuruddha Mahanama Karunanayake and Carmaleka Karunanayake, daughter of former DIG Cyril Dissanayake. He is the eldest son in a family of two. Educated at S. Thomas' Preparatory School, Kollupitiya up to his GCE Ordinary Level, after which he proceeded to Royal College Colombo for his Advanced Level examinations. He became a management accountant and worked for Delmege Group before heading up several directorships of new ventures in the travel industry.

Political career[edit]

In 1988 and 1989, Ravi was in active politics and helped Lalith Athulathmudali to win his seat in Colombo District. In 1991, ten MPs including Athulathmudali and Gamini Dissanayake left the UNP Government headed by President Premadasa and formed the DUNF. When Athulathmudali was assassinated in April 1993, his wife Srimani Athulathmudali took over. And then Gamini Dissanayake re-joined the UNP. Srimani along with the 'DUNF-Lalith Front' joined the People's Alliance under Chandrika Kumaratunga at the General Election in 1994.

In the election two MPs in the national lists were given to the DUNF, and that was the time buoyant young Ravi Karunanayake received his ticket to enter the Parliament of Sri Lanka. Kesaralal Gunesekara was the other DUNF MP who got appointed along with Ravi. In 1996, Srimani was removed from the Cabinet by President Chandrika Kumaratunga, and simultaneously Srimani and her party had a dispute over the affiliation to the Government. Ravi was more towards the UNP, and as a result Srimani sacked him from the DUNF-Lalith Front. However, through a court order, Ravi was able to become an Independent MP in 1998-1999. With the dissolution of Parliament in 1999, he joined the UNP, and became the organiser of Kotte. He won the Kotte seat with 425,000 votes. He won the 'Young Politician of the Year' awarded by the Jaycees Colombo in the year 2000.

In the General Election held in the year 2001, Ravi became the Minister of Trade, Commerce and Consumer Affairs. Along with the fall of the government in the year 2004, the UNP lost the portfolio, but Ravi has remained as a Member of Parliament.

Following the election of Maithripala Sirisena as President in 2015, he was appointed as the Minister of Finance. He presented the controversial interim budget soon thereafter.[1]

In 2017 the The Banker magazine selected Ravi Karunanayake as the best finance minister in Asia pacific for securing a $1.5 billion International Monetary Fund loan programme to avoid a balance of payments crisis, replenish reserves and rebuild confidence among international investors. Government revenue grew from Rs. 1205 in 2014 to Rs. 1,461 billion in 2015. Tax revenue rose from Rs. 1,050 billion to Rs. 1,356 billion in the same period which is crucial for Sri Lanka as it has a very low tax revenue-to-gross domestic product ratio. Sri Lanka’s tax records also grew from having 700,000 files in January 2015 to having 1.4 million.[2][3]

However in May 2017 Ravi Karunanayake removed from finance minister and appointed as Minister of Foreign Affairs (Sri Lanka) by President Maithripala Sirisena.[4][5]


[citation needed]

Ravi is married to Mela and has three daughters Onella, Shenella and Minella.

References and external links[edit]