Evans Gunalal Cooray, former press secretary to the late President Ranasinghe Premadasa, passed away yesterday after a protracted illness in London.
Born on February 13, 1936, Cooray served as an efficient press secretary to several ministries under both UNP and SLFP governments.
He served as press secretary to Premadasa for 28 years, as the latter rose from Minister of Local Government to Prime Minister and finally to Executive President. Cooray played a key role in the Premadasa Administration and was considered a highly efficient public servant.
In June 2010, Cooray published an autobiographical memoir of his long service with President Premadasa, entitled Janasetha Sedhu Janapathi Sevane or ‘in the shadow of a people’s president’, which is considered to be an important piece of political literature in the country.
Evans Cooray functioned as a senior journalist at several English and Sinhala newspapers in the country before embarking on a career in government service.
Cooray is survived by his wife Nanda, sons Rasantha, Sampath and daughter Sadani.