Udaya Ranjith Seneviratne who hails from a middle class family was born in 1958 in Kegalle and had his primary education was at the Dharmaraja College, Kandy from where he moved to the Science College, Matale, for his secondary education. He entered the University of Kelaniya in 1977 where he read in the Science stream and obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in 1980. Later, he followed several Post-Graduate Diploma Courses in the University of Colombo and in the Open University of Sri Lanka. These included a Post Graduate Diploma in Community Development (1989 -1990) and in Local Government (1992 -1993) in the University of Colombo and a Post-Graduate Diploma in Management (1997 -1998) in the Open University of Sri Lanka. In 1999, Mr. Seneviratne has obtained a Master of Science degree in Mass Communication from the University of Kelaniya.
In addition to his academic qualifications, Mr. Seneviratne has several professional qualifications to his credit in a multitude of subjects. These include, Diploma in Advanced English, University of Colombo, Diploma in Marketing Management, Sri Lanka Institute of Development Administration, Diploma in Co-operative Marketing, Institute of Co-operative Management, Bangalore, India, Certificate in International Entrepreneurial Skills in Co-operative Human Resources Development, International Institute, Histadrul – Israel, Certificate in Public Administration, Sri Lanka Institute of Development Administration, Certificate in English for Careers, University of Colombo, Certificate in General Export Marketing Organized by CBI Netherland in Kandy, Certificate in Professional Diplomacy, Diplomatic Procedures and Institutions, Bandaranaike Centre for International Studies, Certificate in Market Feasibility, Project Planning, National Institute of Business Management, Certificate in General Management, Sri Lanka Institute of Development Administration, Certificate in Human Resources Management, Sri Lanka Institute of Development Administration, Certificate in Professional Development for Public Sector Senior Executives, University of Southern Queensland, Australia, Professional Training on Micro Finance & Micro Enterprise Development, Association of Asian Confederation of Credit Unions, Credit Union Foundation of Australia and Professional Training in Co-operative Policy and Legislation, ILO Training Centre, Turin, Italy.
Mr. Seneviratne has an illustrious and a long career in both private and public sectors. After a stint of four years in the private sector as a Management Trainee (Lever Brothers Ceylon Limited), Marketing Officer (United Motors) and Export Executive (C.W. Mackie & Co.,) where he gathered enormous experience in private sector operations, Mr. Seneviratne joined the public service in 1984 as Cadet in the Administrative Service of Sri Lanka and started working in 1985 as an Assistant Commissioner of Department of Cooperative Development. Thereafter, he held several positions in the same department till 1995 as Acting General Manager, Sri Lanka Industrial Cooperative Union, Assistant Commissioner, Department Cooperative Development Matale and Central Province, and as the Deputy Commissioner of the same department in the Central Province. His role in the Department of Cooperative Development took a different turn when he became the Principal of the School of Cooperation, Polgolla in 1995. He held this prestigious position until he became the Director General of the National Institute of Cooperative Development, Polgolla, in 2001. He continued in this position until 2006. Thus, for 21 years, Mr. Seneviratne contributed immensely for the development of cooperatives in Sri Lanka.
Since leaving the Cooperative Department Mr. Seneviratne held important positions in various institutions in the public sector. For four years from 2006 he was with the Ministry of Finance and Planning and Treasury as an Additional Secretary and a Deputy Secretary to the Treasury. With this experience in financial planning and management, he has moved to the Ministry of Sports in 2010 as its Secretary. From then until 2018, he was fortunate to handle activities of several ministries as Secretary of the Ministry of Productivity Promotion, Ministry of Coconut Development & Janatha Estates Development, Ministry of Sugar Industry Development, Ministry of Highways, Higher Education & Investment Promotion, Ministry of Highways & Investment Promotion, Ministry of Mahaweli Development & Environment and the Ministry of Science, Technology and Research. For a brief stint, he served in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs too, as an Additional Secretary.
Additional responsibilities held by Mr. Seneviratne too are varied and illustrate his capacity to function in different positions at different times. He was a member of the Board of Directors/Commissioners of National Lotteries Board (2007-2009), Environmental Authority of Sri Lanka (2007-2009), National Education Commission (2007-2010 ), Employee Trust Fund Board (2008-2009), National Film Corporation (2009-2010), De Laru Lanka Ltd (2008-2009), Petroleum Corporation (2009 -2010), Shell Gas Company Limited (2009-2010), National Insurance Trust Fund Board (2008-2010), Supreme Court Complex Management Board (2007-2009), Independent Television Network (2009-2010), and Sri Lanka Telecom Ltd (2008-2009). He served as Competent Authority of Sri Lanka Cricket Board (2011) as well as Sewanagala & Pelwatta Sugar Industries (2012) and as Administrative Authority, Sri Lanka Accountants Service (2009-2010) and Sri Lanka Planning Service Board (2008-2010). He also was the Vice Chairman of Network of Asia & Pacific River Basin Organization (2017) and Vice Chairman of Science & Technology Centre for Non-aligned & Developing Countries, Delhi – India and the Acting Chairman of Sri Lanka Standards Institution (2018) and Chairman of Institute of Government Accountant Professionals (2008-2009) and Commonwealth Games – Hambantota (2010).
In 2001 and 2005, Mr. Seneviratne was awarded the Presidential Scholarship for Senior Public Officers at the University of Southern Queensland, Australia which afforded him the opportunity to be the Managing Editor of the prestigious Journal of Co-operative Development published jointly by the National Institute of Co-operative Development Sri Lanka and University of Southern Queensland.
Mr. Seneviratne has several publications, especially on the Co-operative Development, to his credit. He was the Chief Editor of Sri Lanka Journal of Co-operative Development and National Development Through Co-operative Movement, and the Editor/Advisor of ‘Pivisuma’, Magazines published by the School of Co-operation, Polgolla. He was in the Editorial Board of ‘Susanhitha’, a bi-annual publication of the Ministry of Co-operatives.
Mr. Seneviratne is happily married to Champika and father of two children, son and a daughter.