Personal Information
Born:25th December 1944
Nationality:Sri Lankan
Education:Trinity College, Kandy
Occupation:Senior Superintendent of Police (Rtd.), Elephant House, Hayleys Group, Hatton National Bank
Spouse:Ramani Fernando
Parents:Henry and Claire Corea
Don Devadunna Richard Corea and Family

DON DEVADUNNA RICHARD COREA (or Deva to those who know him), is the son of Henri and Claire Corea and was born on the 25th of December 1944. He married Ramani Fernando and has three children, Anushka, Devaka and Janaka. A horseman in his youth, he and his siblings were regular winners at the Annual Police Gymkhana. He was educated at the Convent Nuwara Eliya, St. Benedict’s Kotahena, St. Anne’s Kurunegala and finally, Trinity College Kandy. Awarded Hockey Colours and being Sergeant of the Cadet Platoon, Deva was nominated by the Principal of Trinity College for recruitment to the army. At the final interview for a cadetship in Pakistan as a Second Lieutenant, he was asked only two questions by the then Secretary of Defense, N. Q. Dias. You are Henri Corea’s son? Is he not working at Lake House now? A day after Sirimavo Bandaranaike’s Government lost the elections, at an interview for training in Egypt, he fared no better and was told to leave even as he entered the room. In 1966, having served a short spell at Air Ceylon, he enlisted in the Police Department in 1967, as Sub-Inspector. As a probationer, he served in Kandy and took charge of his first station Galaha in 1969, where he faced the 1971 Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) insurrection. Transferred to Mawarala in the South in 1972, he had the daunting task of investigating three hundred and fifty odd cases of crimes committed during the insurgency, with just one senior constable and seventeen recruits. Unearthing the Island-wide re-organization of the JVP, thought to be ‘Dead’, he went on to personally round up the entire network in the Matara District. All the suspects arrested by him were tried before the Criminal Justice Commission. He earned the sobriquet of `Python Corea’ when the Defence Lawyers complained to the Criminal Justice Commission that Deva had used his pet twelve foot python to extract confessions. Ironically, this was a ploy suggested by Deva to prevent those young boys and girls being accused by the JVP of being traitors to their cause. He was awarded a Special Promotion to the rank of Inspector by the then Prime Minister Sirimavo Bandaranaike, although she was aware that he was the son of Henri Corea.

Posted to Deniyaya in September 1973, he faced the communal riots that broke out shortly after the United National Party under President Jayewardene came to power, and ensured that no incidents occurred within his station area. Having served at Ambalagoda in 1978 as the Head Quarters Inspector, he was transferred to the security detail of Ranasinghe Premadasa the Prime Minister, where he continued till Mr. Premadasa was elected President. During this period, he honed his shooting skills and was awarded Police Colours in Big-bore Rifle Shooting, Small-bore Rifle Shooting and Practical Pistol Shooting and captained the Police Pistol Shooting Team for several years. He was fortunate to accompany the VVIP on his many travels abroad. He was promoted to the rank of Assistant Superintendent of Police in 1983. He volunteered to serve in the Operational Areas in 1986, and led several combat operations against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), to rescue Sinhala and Muslim villages under attack. Outstanding was the rescue of Kinya village on the 5th of May 1986 with a group of twenty police officers, when the army commandos declined to undertake the mission. He was commended for bravery and awarded two Special Increments by the Inspector General of Police. His contribution was also commended by the then Co-ordinating Officer Trincomalee, the late General Lucky Wijeratne. Recalled to accompany the Prime Minister to the Non-Aligned Conference in Zimbabwe, he returned to Colombo. In 1990, he was transferred to the National Intelligence Bureau (NIB). In 1991, General Ranatunge the Secretary Defence stripped him of the two Special Increments granted for his operations against the LTTE, depriving him of the opportunity to appear before the Promotion Board earlier than his years of service warranted. The reasons were never explained, but in reply to a long fought appeal he was awarded instead, a reward of Rs.10,000/- for his work against the JVP in Matara in 1989/90, which he refused to accept.

When President Ranasinghe Premadasa was assassinated in 1993 by the LTTE, Deva was invited by Ranil Wickremesinghe who became the Prime Minister, to take over his security as the Director of the Prime Minister's Security Division (PMSD). Having set up the Security Division, he opted to return to the NIB. In 1997, Deva was transferred to Police Head Quarters, as the Director, Physical Assets Management. After a six-month stint in Colombo, he was posted once again to the `Operational Area’, Batticaloa. Having served in Batticaloa, he retired and joined the private sector to serve in the field of security. He joined John Keells Holdings PLC (as Manager, Security at Elephant House), the Hayleys Group PLC (as Group Manager Security) and Hatton National Bank PLC (as the Security Co-ordinator). Deva was the 4th President of the Edirimana Corea Family Union (ECFU).

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