Ernest Corea, one of Sri Lanka’s most distinguished journalists and diplomats, died peacefully at home on May 11, 2017 surrounded by family. He is survived by his wife Indra; sons, Lester and Andy (Michelle); and grandchildren, Carl, Sophie, Wilson and Percy. He was preceded in death by his brother, Vernon Corea and daughter-n-law, Lester’s wife, Doris.
Mr. Corea was born in 1932 in Sri Lanka. He was educated at Royal College, Colombo and the University of Ceylon and later 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, eventually becoming Editor of the Ceylon Daily News from 1966 to 1970 and the Ceylon Observer from 1970 to 1971. After leaving Sri Lanka, Mr. Corea was Features Editor, foreign affairs specialist, and editorial writer of the Straits Times of Singapore.
He later served as Director of the Publications Division at the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) in Ottawa, Canada. He was appointed to the diplomatic service of the government of Sri Lanka by President J. R. Jayewardene in 1978 and served his country as High Commissioner to Canada and as Ambassador to the United States, Cuba and Mexico. He was responsible for organizing the first, and up to now, only state visit of a President of Sri Lanka to the US, at the invitation of President Ronald Reagan in 1984. After leaving diplomatic service, he worked for the World Bank’s Secretariat of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). He returned to journalism after retirement, serving as 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.
A memorial will be held during the summer at St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church in Springfield, Virginia. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church, 6320 Hanover Avenue, Springfield, VA 22150 (designating the Hypothermia Prevention Program).A memorial will be held during the summer at St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church in Springfield, Virginia. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church, 6320 Hanover Avenue, Springfield, VA 22150 (designating the Hypothermia Prevention Program).
The Corea Family have played a key role within the Commonwealth. Vernon Corea’s brother was Ernest Corea, a distinguished diplomat and journalist. Ambassador Ernest Corea was appointed Chairperson of the Commonwealth Select Committee on the media and development in the 1980s.
Ernest Corea was Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to the United States of America when Ronald Reagan was US President. He was also Ambassador to Mexico, Cuba and he was a High Commissioner to Canada.
Ernest was a distinguished journalist – he was Editor of the Ceylon Daily News and the Ceylon Observer.He is President, Media Task Force Global Co-operation Council and is a Consultant to the World Bank.