Asoka de Silva (admiral)
|Asoka de Silva|
Vice Admiral Asoka de Silva
|Died||December 22, 2006 (aged 74–75)|
|Service/branch||Sri Lanka Navy|
|Years of service||1950–1986|
|Commands held||Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy|
|Other work||Sri Lanka's Ambassador to Cuba|
Early life and education
Born to a renowned surgeon and one time superintendent of the De Soysa Maternity Hospital in Colombo, Dr. A.H.T de Silva and Mrs. Beatrice de Silva (née Rodrigo -daughter of Mudaliyar Thomas Rodrigo), Asoka was the third child of a family of eight members.
Educated at the Royal College, Colombo where he was the senior sergeant commanding the Royal College cadet contingent.
De Silva joined the then Royal Ceylon Navy as an officer cadet, soon after leaving school in 1950. After completing his assault-training course he was sent to Britannia Royal Naval College in Dartmouth for basic training. There he became a midshipman and subsequently as an acting sub lieutenant. In later years he would receive specialized training in communication at HMS Mercury, thereafter attend the Royal Naval College, Greenwich and graduate from the Defence Services Staff College, Wellington and the National Defence College, New Delhi.
In 1953 he was commissioned to the rank of sub lieutenant after completing basic training, after which he was elevated to the rank of lieutenant in 1955, and lieutenant commander in 1963. From 1969 to 1970 he was the defence attaché, at the Sri Lanka High Commission in London before being promoted to commander in November 1970, after which he was the commanding officer HMCyS Gajabahu the flagship of the fleet and the co-ordinating officer of the Polonnaruwa District during the 1971 Insurrection. He was the Naval Officer-in Charge of Trincomalee when he was promoted to the rank of captain in 1973, after which he was the Master of MV Lanka Kanthi of the Ceylon Shipping Corporation before becoming chief staff officer (operations). He went on to serve as the co-ordinating officer TAFII (East) and Director Naval Operations when on February 4, 1978, he was made commodore. On July 1, 1979, he assumed duties as the chief of staff at Naval Headquarters, SLNS Ranagala, after which he was promoted to the rank of rear admiral. In June 1983 he was made Commander of the navy, a post he would hold till his retirement at the age of 55, on 1 November 1986, at which point he became the first Sri Lankan officer to be elevated to the rank of vice admiral in the Sri Lanka Navy. Simultaneously acting as the commander-in-chief of the Joint Services Special Operations Command Headquarters established in Vavuniya.
During his long career in the navy he received the Vishista Seva Vibhushanaya, the Ceylon Armed Services Long Service Medal and clasp, President's Inauguration Medal, the Purna Bhumi Padakkama and the Sri Lanka Navy 25th Anniversary Medal.
De Silva was also the chairman of the Sri Lanka Navy Sports Board and chairman of the Defence Services Sports Board.
After retirement, he became Sri Lanka's Ambassador to Cuba.
- Sri Lanka Navy
- Vise Admiral Asoka de Silva, VSV – Sri Lanka Navy
- VICE ADMIRAL ASOKA DE SILVA – FORMER COMMANDER OF THE NAVY, by Dr. Tilak S. Fernando
|Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy