RWP, RSP, VSV, USP
|Leader of the opposition of the North Central Provincial Council|
|Former Sri Lankan High Commissioner to Australia & Ambassador to Indonesia|
|Born||1 February 1946|
|Died||6 October 2008
Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka
|Political party||United National|
|Occupation||Military Officer, politician|
|Years of service||1966–2001 (35 years)|
Sri Lanka Engineers
|Commands||Chief of Staff of the Sri Lanka Army,
Overall Operations Commander Northern Sector,
General Officer Commanding (GOC) of the 53 Division
|Battles/wars||1971 JVP Insurrection,
Sri Lankan Civil War
|Awards||Rana Wickrama Padakkama,
Rana Sura Padakkama,
Vishista Seva Vibhushanaya,
Uttama Seva Padakkama,
Videsha Seva Padakkama
Major General Janaka Perera, RWP, RSP, VSV, USP, VSP, rcds, psc, CR (1 February 1946 – 6 October 2008) was a Sri Lankan General and politician. He served as the Chief of Staff of the Sri Lanka Army and is considered one of the most distinguished generals in Sri Lankan history. After retiring from the army he served as a Sri Lankan High Commissioner to Australia & Ambassador to Indonesia. He was the opposition leader of the North Central Provincial Council until he and his wife were killed on 6 October 2008 by a suicide bomber. The LTTE have been blamed for the bombing by Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa.
General Perera was educated at St. Joseph's College, Colombo and was accepted to University of Ceylon to study geology at the Peradeniya campus before quitting to join the Sri Lanka Army in 1966 as an Officer Cadet. He received his training at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in England. After completing his training he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the 1st Field Engineer Regiment, Ceylon Engineers. Later, he transferred to the newly formed Commando Regiment. Major General Pererea is a graduate of the Royal College of Defence Studies and the Defence Services Staff College.
As a Colonel, Janaka Perera took a significant role in suppressing the JVP insurrection of 1987–89. He was the Provincial Commander of the North-Western Province as well as being in charge of the special operations of the Operation Combine in Colombo which led to the capture of the JVP leader Rohana Wijeweera. He was promoted to Brigadier in 1989.
In the following years he played a significant role in combating the LTTE in the Sri Lankan Civil War, especially in the Jaffna as the Brigade Commander of the Independent Brigade, 24 Brigade, Commander – Reserve Strike Force and in the Welioya areas as first as brigade commander 6 Brigade (Welioya) and later as General Officer Commanding -Welioya after being promoted to the rank of Major General in 1996. He contributed greatly to the Sri Lankan military effort during the Eelam War III especially in the Welioya sector. General Perera has appointed general officer commanding of the 23 Division, the 51 Division & the 53 Division and was appointed Commander, Commando/Special Force Regiment on 15 April 1999.
Brigadier Pererea played a major role during Operation Riviresa which led to the liberation of the Jaffna peninsula, during which he commanded the elite 53 Division which consisted of the Independent Brigade, Air Mobile Brigade, Armored Brigade and an Infantry Brigade. Later he was promoted to the post of Deputy Chief of Staff and functioned as Commandant, Sri Lanka Army Command and Staff College.
Following the Second Battle of Elephant Pass in April 2000 which forced the Sri Lankan Army units in Jaffna to fall back due to lack of fixed defence positions, Perera was appointed Overall Operations Commander (North) and was tasked with countering the LTTE offensive, along with Major General (now Lt. General) Sarath Fonseka who was appointed Security Forces Commander, Jaffna. During this time there were fears in Colombo that the 40,000 troops in the Jaffna peninsula would be cut off, trapped, and overrun. President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga negotiated with the Indian government for ships to evacuate troops from the peninsula due to the lack of transport ships in the Navy. However, the Indian government refused to provide ships. Launching several effective counter-offensives that halted the LTTE advance, removing the threat to the Jaffna peninsula and succeeded in established the current defence line in the Jaffna peninsula.
He had the unique distinction of being the Colonel Commandant of the Commando Regiment, Special Forces Regiment and the Corps of Sri Lanka Engineers. Major General Janaka Perera had been awarded the gallantry medals Rana Wickrama Padakkama and Rana Sura Padakkama, the distinguished service medal the Vishista Seva Vibhushanaya, long service medals Uttama Seva Padakkama, Sri Lanka Armed Services Long Service Medal, foreign service medal Videsha Seva Padakkama, combat service medals Purna Bhumi Padakkama, North and East Operations Medal the campaign medals Vadamarachchi Operation Medal and the Riviresa Campaign Services Medal and also the Republic of Sri Lanka Armed Services Medal, 50th Independence Anniversary Medal 1998, Sri Lanka Army 50th Anniversary Medal and President's Inauguration Medal.
Following his retirement he was made Sri Lanka's High Commissioner to Australia and later Sri Lanka's Ambassador to Indonesia, but was recalled before his term ended.
- Accusation of war crime
After he was appointed Sri Lanka's High Commissioner to Australia, the Tamil community there accused him of being responsible for hundreds of deaths and the torture of Tamils in the Jaffna peninsula when he was in command. About 300 Tamils protested outside the Australian parliament accusing General Perera of war crimes. The human rights group Amnesty International raised similar concerns. However, no formal charges were ever brought against General Perera and he served his full four years as Sri Lankan High Commissioner in Australia, after which he was Sri Lankan Ambassador to Indonesia.
During the 2008 North Central Provincial Council election, which he claimed to be marred by violence, he was as the UNP candidate for the post of Chief Minister for the North Central Province, although he gained the most preferential votes his party failed to gained a majority in the council, therefore became the opposition leader Provincial Council.
Janaka Perera married Vajira de Silva, one of the first six lady officers to join the Sri Lanka Army Women's Corps in 1982. Vajira trained at the Women's Royal Army Corps College in 1980. She wasn't the only person in her family to join the army; her brother was Lieutenant Upul de Silva was KIA. Janaka and Vajira Perera had three children together: Janukshi, Shehara and Ashanka.
Janaka Perera and his wife were killed by a suspected suicide bomb blast on 6 October 2008 in Anuradhapura. The bombing which occurred at the United National Party office near the Old Bus Stand in Anuradhapura, killed about 27 civilians and politicians while injuring 90 more. The dead included 4 UNP provincial councillors and former Sri Lankan Ambassador and UNP party manager in Anuradhapura Dr John Pulle and his wife. The government blamed the attack on the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. The UNP and opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe has asked for an international investigation on the death of Janaka Perera and numerous others. The government has been blamed by Wikremesinghe and others for not providing adequate security for General Perera, who had to ask the Supreme Court for protection during the provincial council election when the government candidate was given security and he was not.
- Maj Gen Janaka Perera Killed in LTTE suicide attack – Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka dailynews.lk
- Will resume battle for 17th Amendment – Ranil
- Janaka rejects police bodyguards Firmly believes in military victory against LTTE, The Island
- SRI LANKA: THE UNTOLD STORY, Chapter 40: Rohana Wijeweera's killing – still a mystery
- Maj. Gen. Janaka Perera retires after 34 years of service
- Major General K.J.C Perera (Retd) RWP RSP VSV USP rcds psc is No More
- Can Janaka Deliver?
- EELAM WAR III, Sri Lanka Army
- Censor batters battle report, Situation report, Sundaytimes
- Maj. Janaka Perera's Politics nation.lk
- Janaka vows to take NCP, by Percy Kuruneru our Anuradhapura, The Island
- Vajira – One of the first six to join Army Women's Corps dailynews.lk
- Over 25 civilians including Maj Gen Janaka Perera killed in LTTE suicide bomb attack- Anuradhapura defence.lk
- Suicide blast hits Sri Lanka town bbc.co.uk
- Govt's denial of security caused Janaka's death – Ranil by Wijitha Nakkawita and Lakshmi de Silva
- Ranil calls for international probe on Monday's suicide attack
- Tribute to the life & death of a real warhero, Janaka Perera "Sadaharita"
- Major General Janaka Perera's Vital Importance to Sri Lanka
- Janaka Perera Recalled lankanewspapers.com
- THE JAFFNA DEBACLE spur.asn.au
- "I know nothing about politics" – Maj. Gen. Janaka Perera nation.lk
- Perera killed srilankaguardian.org
- Janaka the Committed Diplomat
- Measuring Janaka's worth
- Major General Janaka Perera in Sinhala
- Methek Kathawa Divaina
L. P. Balagalle
|Chief of Staff of the Sri Lanka Army