Harin Fernando

From TobaccoUnmasked


Harin Fernando is a Sri Lankan politician representing United National Party (UNP), one of the two main political parties in Sri Lanka and the ruling party from 2015 to 2019. He is a Member of the 8th Parliament of Sri Lanka elected from the Badulla District. He served as a cabinet Minister of Telecommunication, Digital Infrastructure facilities, Foreign Employment and Sports from 2015 to November 2019.[1][2]

Born in 1978 in Wattala, Sri Lanka, he comes from a family of businessmen and was a businessman prior to joining politics. He obtained his formal education at St Joseph’s College, Colombo 10. Married to a granddaughter of a famous politician Vincent Dias (representing UNP in Uva Province Sri Lanka), he is father to a son and a daughter.[3][4][5]

Image 1: Minister Harin Fernando[6]

Political positions held

  • 2005 to date - United National Party (UNP) electoral organiser for Badulla District.[7].
  • 2005 to 2010 – Member of Uva provincial council. [8].
  • 2010 to 2014 (August 5th) – Member of parliament from Badulla district [7]
  • January 2015 to September 2015 - 7th chief minister of Uva province.
  • 2015 to October 2018 - Cabinet Minister of Telecommunications and Digital Infrastructure.
  • December 2018 to November 2019 – Minister of Telecommunication, Foreign employment and Sports.[1]

Tobacco Related Activities

Opposing the Single Stick Ban

In 2017, Harin Fernando opposed the proposal made by the minister of health to the Cabinet of Ministers to ban the sale of single cigarette sticks.[9][10]

Attending a Business Forum organized by the League of Multinational Corporates (LMNC)

Minister Fernando attended a business forum on 28th September 2018 at The Blue, Hilton Colombo organized by the League of Multinational Corporates (LMNC) an association with links to the tobacco industry.[11][12] Please refer to our page League of Multinational Corporates (LMNC) for more details.

Image 2: Minister Fernando at the event League of Multinational Corporates (LMNC). Ceylon Tobacco Company PLC (CTC) and LMNC Chairman Michael Koest, Keynote speaker of the event Jim Lawless, Minister Harsha de Silva and Minister Sagala Ratnayake are also in the picture.[11]

Tobacco Unmasked Resources

The local language translations



  1. 1.0 1.1 Office of the Cabinet of Ministers of Sri Lanka. Official Website, undated, accessed January 2019
  2. Parliament of Sri Lanka, Directory of Members, undated, accessed January 2018
  3. I Jayawardena. Living his dream…, Daily News, 30 September 2015, accessed November 2019
  4. U. Amarasinghe. A Promise to Deliver, Cover Story, BusinessToday.lk, September 2016, accessed November 2019
  5. B Dalima. Family members and politics – topic of discussion during Uva PC, www.newsfirst.lk, 22 September 2014, accessed November 2019
  6. H Fernando. Harin Fernando, 1 January 2019, accessed November 2019
  7. 7.0 7.1 Manthri.lk. Harin Fernando, undated, accessed January 2018
  8. Uva Provincial Council. website, undated, accessed January 2018
  9. D. Liyanage. No ban on single stick cigarette ban, Daily Mirror, 17 September 2017, accessed November 2018
  10. Sunday Times. Rajitha’s loose cigarettes go up in smoke, 16 September 2016, accessed November 2018
  11. 11.0 11.1 Mirror Business. ‘League of Multinational Corporates’ Launched, 01 October 2018, accessed March 2019
  12. Daily FT. MNC speak up, 01 October 2018, accessed March 2019