Personal Information
Died:11th May 2017
Nationality:Sri Lankan
Education:Royal College, Colombo and University of Ceylon
Occupation:High Commissioner to Canada and as Ambassador to the United States of America (US), Cuba and Mexico
Spouse:Indra Ratnayake
Parents:Reverend Canon Ivan Corea and Ouida Corea

ERNEST COREA was one of Sri Lanka’s distinguished diplomats, who was awarded the Deshabandu Class 1 National Day honour for meritorious diplomatic service. He has, in addition, been an influential newspaperman and writer.

He was the son of Reverend Canon Ivan Corea and Ouida Corea. He was born in Borella, a suburb of Colombo, the capital of Ceylon, now Sri Lanka. Educated at Royal College, Colombo and the University of Ceylon, Ernest served with the United Nations in Washington DC and in the Congo (Zaire).

He joined the editorial staff of the Associated Newspapers of Ceylon Ltd. (Lake House) direct from university and rose to be Editor of the Ceylon Daily News from 1966-1970 and the Ceylon Observer from 1970-1971. Immediately before holding those positions, he was Chief Administrative Officer of the Editorial Department at Lake House. 

Ernest was Features Editor, foreign affairs specialist and editorial writer of the Straits Times of Singapore. He served as Director of the Publications Division at the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) in Ottawa, Canada. Subsequently, he was the founding Director of the IDRC’s Cooperative (North-South) Research Programs Division.

He was appointed to the diplomatic service of the Government of Sri Lanka by President J. R. Jayewardene and served his country as High Commissioner to Canada and as Ambassador to the United States of America (US), Cuba and Mexico. He was entrusted with several successful negotiations connected with external support for the country’s development programs.

He was responsible for organising the very first state visit of a President of Sri Lanka to the US, at the invitation of President Ronald Reagan in 1984.

His book ‘Non-Alignment – the dynamics of a movement,’ was published by the Canadian Institute of International Affairs. Another book, North-South: Beyond Dialogue, was also published in Canada. 

He was Chairman of the Commonwealth Select Committee on the Media and Development, and is a life-member of the Asia Society’s advisory group in Washington DC. He worked for the World Bank’s Secretariat of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) and after retirement, as a Senior Consultant, when he co-authored Revolutionizing the Evolution of the CGIAR with CGIAR Director Francisco Reifschneider and Chair Ian Johnson.

He was the President of the Media Task Force of the Berlin-based Global Co-operation Council. He was appointed Global Editor of InDepth NewsAnalysis (IDN) and a member of its editorial board as well as a columnist and Co-editor of IDN’s current affairs magazine, Global Perspectives. 

He married Indra Ratnayake, a fellow journalist. They had two children. The older, Lester, married Doris Neldner.  They have two children: Carl and Sophie. The younger, Andy, married Michelle Bell. They have a son, Wilson.

On the night of 11th May 2017, Ernest Corea passed away peacefully in Virginia, having lived in the United States for many years.


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