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Eng. Karunasena Hettiarachchi

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Eng. Karunasena Hettiarachchi

Secretary to the Ministry of Defence


Eng. Karunasena Hettiarachchi assumed duties as the Secretary to the Ministry of Defence on 09th September 2015.

Born on 20th March 1950, Eng. Karunasena Hettiarachchi, a professional engineer who completed his primary education and secondary education at the Royal College, Polonaruwa and Bandaranayake Central College, Veyangoda respectively.

Commencing his higher education he earned his Bachelor's of Engineering (Hons) Degree from the University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka in year 1977. He was conferred the title of Master of Science in Engineering from the University of Leuven, Belgium in year 1986.

Eng. Hettiarachchi has participated in many local and foreign training programmes focusing Management, especially in the fields of Water, Irrigation, Solid Waste and Project Management. Accordingly, some of the training programmes amongst many he attended are Resource Management Training in Sri Lanka (1983), Water Management Training in Philippines (1983), Management Training in Belgium (1985), Water Management Training in Thailand (1988) and Project Management Training in Tokyo (2000).

As well, Eng. Hettiarachchi is a member of the F.I.E. (SL), Chartered Engineer (UK) 1981, Chartered Engineer (SL) 1981, MIEP (SL 2006) and FIM (SL).

Eng. Hettiarachchi has represented Sri Lanka at numerous national and international meetings, seminars and conferences and has also chaired significant meetings on behalf of the Government.

In a public service career spanning for over 39 years, Eng. Hettiarachchi has served in a number of renowned institutions and government organizations. He has commenced his career as a Civil Engineer at the Ministry of Housing and Constructions. In his early career he has served in several organizations in the Engineering field holding positions such as Civil Engineer of the Territorial Civil Engineering Organization, Civil Engineer of the Central Engineering Consultancy Bureau, Irrigation Engineer at the Department of Irrigation, Resident Engineer of the Department of Irrigation, Irrigation Engineer at the Department of Irrigation and as a Research Associate at the International Irrigation Management Institute.

Prior to the present appointment he was the Secretary to the Ministry of Urban Development, Water supply and Drainage in year 2015. Along the line of extensive past career he also has served in higher positions such as Director of Sierra Engineering & Construction (Pvt.) Ltd, Chairman of National Water Supply and Drainage Board, Chairman of Sri Lanka Land Reclamation and Development Corporation, Chairman of Central Environmental Authority, Senior Project Specialist of Japan Bank for International Cooperation, Chairman of Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment of the Ministry of Labour Relations and Foreign Employment, Chairman of Geological Survey and Mines Bureau of the Ministry of Mineral Resources, Director of Clean Settlements Project of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development, Consultant Civil Engineer of Nippon Koei Consultants Ltd, Chief Irrigation Engineer of the Department of Irrigation and Chief Resident Engineer of the Department of Irrigation.

All the way through in his profession Eng. Hettiarachchi has presented numerous Research and Publications. Accordingly he has presented a paper on Participatory Irrigation Development in Sri Lanka at the International Conference on Sustainable Land Use in Belgium 1992. A paper on Maintenance Management under Deficit Resource Condition at the International Conference on Operation and Maintenance of Irrigation and Drainage Projects in China 1993. A paper on Management of Irrigation Facilities for Sustainable Land Use at the International Conference on Environmentally Sustainable Irrigation Development in Pakistan 1993. A paper on Participatory Action Research Innovations for Irrigation Turnover at the International Conference on Irrigation Turnover in China 1994 and has done a Literature Review on Management of Irrigation Facilities for International Irrigation Management Institute (IIMI) using about 150 documents on maintenance, rehabilitation, improvement and modernization in 1990.

Eng. Hettiarachchi has also submitted an Inception Report of IIMI's Participatory Action Research Project on Irrigation management and Crop Diversification in 1991. He has submitted Seasonal Reports and Final Research Report of IIMI's Participatory Action Research Project on Irrigation Management and Crop Diversification in 1991, 1992 and 1993. He also has presented Papers on the research findings of IIMI's Participatory Action Research Project on Irrigation Management and Crop Diversification in several local workshops conducted by IIMI, Irrigation Department. Moreover Eng. Hettiarachchi  has presented a paper in New Delhi, India on Sri Lanka Experience on Urban Management while representing a Regional Conference on Infrastructure Financing and Pricing

He is married to Mrs. Wasantha Gunawardena, a retired school teacher and have blessed with a son and a daughter.


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