Previously he was the Chairman of the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority, a position he held since February 2015.
Withana has over 40 years of experience in the leisure and tourism sector specializing in hotel property development, management, and financial controls.
Having graduated from the Ceylon Hotel School in 1970, Withana commenced his career at Ceylon Holiday Resorts (CHR), the owning company of two pioneer resorts in Sri Lanka, Bentota Beach Hotel and Coral Gardens Hotel.
During his time at CHR, he excelled as one of the first Executive Chefs in the island and was given several opportunities to hone his skills in Europe and the Caribbean. Having subsequently moved to upper management, he was a Director of John Keells Hotels overseeing all the food and beverage aspects of its hotels in Sri Lanka and the Maldives.
Withana also served as CEO of Carson Cumberbatch Hotels in Sri Lanka where he was able to convert a loss making property into a highly profitable business. His public sector experience includes serving as the Chairman of Sri Lanka Tourism from 2002-2004 where he initiated the development of a new national tourism policy for Sri Lanka.
In his capacity as SLTDA Chairman, he was a strong advocate of sustainable tourism in the country.
Withana is a member and past president of the Ceylon Hotels School Graduates Association (CHSGA) and of the Sri Lanka Chapter of the Institute of Hospitality UK.
He was educated at Royal College, Colombo where he excelled in athletics and hockey. He is strongly committed to social service and welfare and has been a member of Lions International for nearly 25 years, having served as the District Governor of Lions District 306-A in 2004/2005.