Sandresh Ravindra Karunanayake born on 19th February 1963 in Colombo to Tissa Karunanayake and Carmaleka Karunanayake. The eldest son in a family of two. Was educated at St. Thomas’ Preparatory School in Kollupitiya and Royal College, Colombo 7 and thereafter proceeded to follow a course in Chartered Management Accountancy.
He commenced his working career at Delair Limited, and moved on to Hayleys Group and MIT Air Cargo Limited where he gained a wealth of experience which enabled him to reach the heights in the world of business and entrepreneurship as Chairman of US Global Lanka (Private) Limited, Director/Chief Executive Officer - Vacume Processing Lanka Limited, Global Transportation & Logistics (Private) Limited, Director - Eagle Air International (Private) Limited and Global Air & Tours (Private) Limited. He is also an Active Member of the Federation of the Chamber Movement in order to strengthen the Industrial and the Businessmen in Sri Lanka.
Ravi Karunanayake first entered the 10th Parliament of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka in 1994 being the youngest member to be appointed from the National List. In the year 2000 he was elected to the 11th Parliament from the Colombo District, and once again at the General Election held in the year 2001 Ravi Karunanayake was elected to the 12th Parliament from the Colombo District
On 12th December 2001, he was appointed as Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs in the United National Party Government of Hon. Ranil Wickremasinghe, Prime Minister, the President being Her Excellency Chandrika Kumaranatunga.
In the year 1999 he was presented the Award of “Young Outstanding Politician of the Year” which was organized by the International Jaycees and in the same year Ravi Karunanayake was elected as the “Politician and Public Administrator of the Year” by the Colombo Jaycees.
In the area of his political career Ravi Karunanayake presently holds the position of Chairman – Foreign Affairs Committee for the United National Party. He was also appointed as the United National Party Leader for the Colombo District. He is also the Chairman of the Institute of Democracy and Leadership.
He has a very illustrious Parliamentary career being a member of the Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE), Consultative Committee Member on Defence, Consultative Committee Member on Finance, Policy Planning and National Integration, a Consultative Committee Member on Aviation & Shipping and a Consultative Committee Member of Foreign Affairs. He was also a member of the Select Committee on Constitutional Reforms and a member of the Select Committee on Media Reforms.
Apart from his business, political and parliamentary career Ravi Karunanayake has been blessed with the talent of journalism and has been a regular contributor to newspapers and magazines in Sri Lanka and overseas in various prestigious professional Media Institutions and Associations in regard to Economic Affairs, Marketing, Business Management, Political Culture, Public Finance & Taxation. He also participates on a regular basis in many debates and discussions – live and recorded, on television in Sinhala and English, covering current topics which include Business and Economic Affairs, Political Culture, Constitutional Reforms, Current Affairs, World Affairs etc.
Ravi is married to Mela and has three daughters Onella, Shenella and Minella. As the old adage goes “behind every successful man there is a woman” and this goes to prove that Mela has been a tower of strength to him. Apart from his hectic business, political and parliamentary life Ravi Karunanayake is also a “family man” and spends considerable time with his family.
He is indeed a man one could look up to for sound advice and guidance.