The Board of Directors of the Sri Lankan Business Council


Mr. Suren Swaminathan, Board Chairman

Suren Swaminathan is a long term UAE resident. A well known Insurance Professional and also a businessman. He had his early education at St. Xaviers College Nuwara Eliya. An active community member who held senior positions in many organizations.

Contact him on: +971 55 623 6952
Email ID:


Mr. Muhammed Riza, Vice Chairman of the Board

Holding an MBA from the University of Strathclyde, Reza is a Senior Management Professional in the Aviation Industry exposed to doing business in Asia, Americas and in Africa. Currently he is the Regional Manager (Commercial) covering Latin America, Central & Southern Africa and Indian Ocean islands for the Emirates Airlines. He has held the position of the honorary representative for Tourism in the UAE appointed by the Ministry of Tourism in Sri Lanka.

Contact him on: +971 4 394 5183
Email ID:


Mr. Shihan Sheriff, Director Secretary to the Board

A Finance professional with experience in multiple industries, is the Chief Financial Officer of al bogari Holdings (Group) since 2010. Completed his MBA at the Chifley Business School, Torrens University of Australia and is a qualified Associate Chartered Management Accountant from CIMA (UK). He is a member of CPA Australia as well as the Chartered Global Management Accountants of USA. An alumnus of Royal College, Colombo, has been involved with various social organizations throughout and is in the Middle East since 2008.

Contact him on: +971 50 104 1975
Email ID:


Mr. Hussain Afkar, Director Finance

A Chartered Accountant by profession, with an associate membership with CPA (Australia) and a MBA from (USA), with 30 years of experience in Auditing, Financial Advisory and Tax. He is a Director at Axis Auditing and Accounting. He moved to Bahrain in 1987, Kuwait 1995 and UAE from 2009. He is an old boy of Carey College, Colombo.

Contact him on:+971 50 537 7026
Email ID:


Mr. Farook Kassim, Director – Public Relations

A graduate from Harvard Business School, Boston, he is the Managing Director of Al Bogari Holdings Ltd, a company specializing in investment and trading. With a treasure trove of achievements, he has lived in the U.A.E for more than 40 years. He was the Chairman of the Dubai Food Trading Group, A board member of the WMO, Independent Non-Executive Director of Albaraka Bank South Africa and a Group Director of Expolanka Holdings PLC, Sri Lanka.

Contact him on: +971 4 344 7553
Email ID:


Mr. Sam Fernando, Director Events

An Advertising and Event management professional, Sam is living in the UAE since 1998. Graduated from Anglia Ruskin University, UK, he is an alumni of Raddoluwa Maha Vidyalaya. He is currently the CEO and Partner of Team Evention LLC, a leading event Management company in Dubai. He also an active community member who held senior positions in many organizations.

Contact him on: +971 50 444 8261
Email ID:


Mr. Don Channa Munasinghe, Director Membership

A licensed Aircraft Engineer by profession with Emirates Airlines has completed 12 years in the profession. He graduated from Emirates Engineering College, Dubai. He is also the Acting Managing Director Chef Lanka, UAE’s oldest chain of Sri Lankan Restaurants. Born and brought up in the UAE, has grown up supporting the family business for the last 23 years.

Contact him on:+971 55 5151 830
Email ID:


Mr. Ram Mohan Pillai, Director External Affairs

Ram is the Managing Director of the Haran Group of companies with business interests in UAE and sub Saharan Africa such as management consulting, FMCG and duty free retail, airport services, immigration to Australia and Canada etc.

Ram was the first in UAE to take a retail franchise of an existing semi governmental service (Du stores) and increase their performance and customer satisfaction levels, winning the Best Franchisee Award before completing the five years contract.

Prior to starting his own business, Ram spent nearly 10 years with Vodafone UK where he joined through their Graduate Development Programme and was instrumental during Vodafone’s launch of 3G services.

Ram is an old boy of Jaffna College before emigrating to UK and now settled in Dubai for 11 years with wife and two children.

Contact him on: +971 55 524 2244
Email ID:


Mr. Ravi Varma, Director Business Development

Ravi Verma is an Engineer, a MBA Graduate as well as an Entrepreneur. He has offices in Sri Lanka, India, UAE, Canada, Japan and Africa doing business mainly in Sea Ports, Airports and General Industries. He had designed the first Reefer communication module which has Power, Communication and Energy Monitoring in a single unit for the Reefer Industry three in one, as a unique design.

He also designed many innovative systems for the port industry over the years such as Robot Eye, Drone technology for Farming and Fencing, Damage Container Detection, Aircraft Body Inspection and Reefer Automation to name a few. He also has a Restaurant in USA and has been in the UAE for the past 19 years.

Contact him on: +971 50 458 7801 

Email ID:


H.E. Nalinda Wijerathna, Consul General of Sri Lanka to Dubai & Northern Emirates

Mr. Nalinda  Wijerathna, Hon. Consul General of Sri Lanka in Dubai & Northern  Emirates is a career commercial diplomat having 15 years of experience  in the Public Service. He joined the Department of Commerce in 2005 as  an Assistant Director and has held positions in various divisions and  capacities both at the Department of Commerce of Sri Lanka and Sri  Lanka’s overseas Missions. Immediately prior to been appointed as the  Consul General in Dubai & Northern Emirates, he served as the Head  of Trade Promotion Division of the Department of Commerce.

His professional career in Sri Lanka’s  overseas Missions includes Counsellor (Commercial) at the Permanent  Mission of Sri Lanka to the World Trade Organization (WTO) in Geneva,  Switzerland (2013 to 2016) where he covered different subject areas  relating to the World Trade Organization (WTO), United Nations  Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), World Intellectual  Property Organization (WIPO) as well as other international  organizations based in Geneva. He also served as the First Secretary  (Commercial) at the Sri Lanka High Commission in Pretoria, South Africa  from 2007 to 2010.  

Mr. Wijerathna has served as a member of  various Sri Lanka delegations to many international fora, including WTO  Ministerial Conferences held in Bali, Indonesia (2013) and Nairobi,  Kenya (2015).  He has also taken part in delegations negotiating trade  pacts for Sri Lanka in various bilateral, regional and multilateral  level Agreements that includes Asia Pacific Trade Agreement (APTA),  South Asian Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA) and Bay of Bengal Initiative  for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC).

Mr. Wijerathna holds a Master of  Financial Economics degree from the University of Colombo. He graduated  in B. Com (Special) degree with 2nd class from the University  of Sri Jayewardenepura and holds Mastering Trade Policy from the  Harvard University in USA. He also holds Diploma in Advanced Trade  Policy from the World Trade Organization (WTO) in Geneva, Switzerland  and   Diploma in Certified Management Accountants (CMA).

He has attended number of workshops on  international trade and economic policy held in Australia, New Zealand,  Switzerland, the Netherlands, China, Singapore, Thailand, and South  Korea, organized by the WTO, UNCTAD, AusAid, CBI, KOIKA and Singapore  Cooperation.


Mrs. Premala Srikantha, Director (Promotion) for Middle East & North African Region, Sri Lanka Tea Board & Minister (Tea Promotion), Consulate General of Sri Lanka in Dubai & Northern Emirates

She has served the Sri Lanka Tea Board in several positions that include, Director (Promotion), Deputy Tea Commissioner (Exports) and Minister Counselor (Tea Promotion) attached to the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Russia. Possesses a Degree in Agriculture from the University of Peradeniya, a Postgraduate Diploma in Tea Tasting & Quality Control, and a Diploma in Diplomacy and International Relations. Served as a member in international working groups on tea and represented Sri Lanka in delegations on bilateral negotiations and joint commissions. Served as Chairperson of the Working Group on Tea Trade and Quality of the FAO Intergovernmental Group on Tea.

Email her on:


Mr. Asiri Wickramasuriya, UAE Country Manager for SriLankan Airlines Ltd.

Asiri is the Country Manager for SriLankan Airlines in UAE where he looks after the operations in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. He started his journey with the National carrier in 1999. During his 20 years of commercial aviation experience he has worked for a foreign international airline from 2007. However in 2012 he has returned back to SriLankan Airlines where he consider as the place he belongs to. He’s been serving in the home market back in Colombo before his appointment as the Country Manager UAE.

Contact him on: +971 4 397 6919
Email ID: