I am deeply moved on learning of the passing away of Deshamanya Dr Gamani Corea, one of the most illustrious sons of Sri Lanka.
He stood out in the world as a Sri Lankan economist, civil servant and diplomat whose special contribution was to the economic advancement of the developing nations. The positions he held as a founding figure and Secretary General of the United Nation’s Conference on Trade and Development and as Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations, drew attention on the high quality of personalities from Sri Lanka that have contributed to the progress of the World Assembly. A luminary in the field of economics, his outstanding work for the economic advancement of Third World nations saw him re-elected thrice to the prestigious post of Secretary General of UNCTAD to which he was first appointed in 1973.
In Sri Lanka, Dr. Corea who began his career at the Central Bank of Ceylon rose to be its Senior Deputy Governor, and also held the office of Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Planning and Economic Affairs. In these positions he played a significant role in directing the strategies of economic research and development of Sri Lanka. In the field of diplomacy he was this country’s ambassador to the European Economic Community. As Chancellor of the Open University of Sri Lanka, he gave new direction to a hitherto unexplored field of higher education.
Honoured by several foreign universities and gracing the boards of governors of important institutes of international studies, science, and economics in Sri Lanka, Dr. Gamani Corea brought to his work the lasting spirit of his grandfather, the late Victor Corea, a great freedom fighter and a member of the Legislative Council of Ceylon.
His demise leaves a major void in the field of economic expertise, administration – both national and international, and diplomacy. His career was a trail of excellence that can hardly be matched.
On this sad occasion I convey my deepest condolences to his next of kin.
May his soul Rest in Peace.
(Courtesy: President Media)