Commander of the Army (Sri Lanka)

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Commander of the Sri Lanka Army
ශ්‍රී ලංකාවේ යුධ හමුදාපති
Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva

since 19 July 2019
 Sri Lanka Army
Member ofNational Security Council
Reports toMinistry of Defence
Chief of Defence Staff
AppointerThe President
Term lengthNot fixed
Constituting instrumentArmy Act (Chapter 357)
PrecursorCommander of the Ceylon Defence Force
Formation20 October 1949; 70 years ago (1949-10-20)
as Commander of the Ceylon Army
First holderBrigadier Roderick Sinclair (as Commander Ceylon Army)
DeputyChief of Staff of the Army

The Commander of the Army is the title of the professional head of the Sri Lanka Army. The Army Commander is assisted by the Chief of Staff of the Army.[1] The current Commander of the Army is Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva.[2]


The post traces its roots to the post of General Officer Commanding, Ceylon, which was the title of the officer commanding the British Army units stationed in Ceylon prior to independence in 1948. On 10 October 1949, when the Ceylon Army was formed following the enactment of the Army Act, Brigadier Earl of Caithness was appointed as Commandant, Ceylon Army and at times referred to as Commander-in-Chief, Ceylon Army. British Forces in Ceylon came under the short lived General Officer Commanding, Ceylon. The title of the head of the Ceylon Army was changed shortly to Army Commander and since the mid 1950s serving army commanders held the rank of Major General.

Since the 1980s serving army commanders have by convention been of the rank of Lieutenant General who are promoted to the rank of full general after taking the responsibilities of the Office of the Chief of the Defence Staff. But some commanders were promoted to full general after retirement or posthumously, e.g. Denis Perera, who was promoted to full general in 2007 after 26 years of retirement in recognition to his service.[3]

Official Residence[edit]

The official residence of the Commander of the Army is General's House in Colombo. The house was one of several built as Class A Quarters by the British Colonial Government of Ceylon along Bullers Road for the use of government officials and was used as the quarters of the Commander of the British Garrison in Ceylon. Brigadier James Sinclair, the Earl of Caithness took up residence in the house in 1949 after being appointed the first Commander of the Ceylon Army, and it has been used as the Commander's official residence since, with a brief interruption in 1955.

Retiring commanders are allowed to stay on an additional three months post-retirement to better facilitate their transition.

List of Commanders (including Commanders of the Ceylon Army)[edit]

No. Picture Commander Took office Left office Time in office Unit
Roderick Sinclair CBE, DSO
Sinclair, RoderickBrigadier
Roderick Sinclair CBE, DSO
20 October 194917 May 19522 years, 210 daysGordon Highlanders
Sir Francis Reid CBE
Reid, FrancisBrigadier
Sir Francis Reid CBE
18 May 19528 February 19552 years, 266 daysRoyal Artillery
Anton Muttukumaru OBE, ED, ADC
Muttukumaru, AntonMajor General
Anton Muttukumaru OBE, ED, ADC
9 February 195531 December 19594 years, 326 daysCeylon Light Infantry
H. W. G. Wijeyekoon OBE, ED
Wijeyekoon, H.Major General
H. W. G. Wijeyekoon OBE, ED
1 January 196031 December 19633 years, 364 daysCeylon Light Infantry
Deshamanya Richard Udugama MBE
Udugama, RichardMajor General
Deshamanya Richard Udugama MBE
1 January 196410 November 19662 years, 313 daysCeylon Light Infantry
Bertram Heyn
Heyn, BertramMajor General
Bertram Heyn
11 November 196630 September 1967323 daysCeylon Light Infantry
Deshamanya Sepala Attygalle LVO, ADC
Attygalle, SepalaLieutenant General
Deshamanya Sepala Attygalle LVO, ADC
1 October 196713 October 197710 years, 12 daysSri Lanka Armoured Corps
Deshamanya Denis Perera VSV
Perera, DenisLieutenant General
Deshamanya Denis Perera VSV
14 October 197713 October 19813 years, 364 daysSri Lanka Engineers
Tissa Weeratunga VSV
Weeratunga, TissaLieutenant General
Tissa Weeratunga VSV
14 October 198111 February 19853 years, 120 daysGemunu Watch
Nalin Seneviratne VSV
Seneviratne, NalinLieutenant General
Nalin Seneviratne VSV
12 February 198515 August 19883 years, 185 daysSri Lanka Engineers
Hamilton Wanasinghe VSV
Wanasinghe, HamiltonLieutenant General
Hamilton Wanasinghe VSV
16 August 198815 November 19913 years, 91 daysSri Lanka Artillery
Cecil Waidyaratne VSV
Waidyaratne, CecilLieutenant General
Cecil Waidyaratne VSV
16 November 199131 December 19932 years, 45 daysSri Lanka Armoured Corps
G. H. De Silva RWP, VSV, USP
Silva, G.Lieutenant General
G. H. De Silva RWP, VSV, USP
(born 1940)
1 January 199430 April 19962 years, 120 daysGemunu Watch
Rohan Daluwatte RWP, RSP, VSV, USP
Daluwatte, RohanLieutenant General
Rohan Daluwatte RWP, RSP, VSV, USP
1 May 199615 December 19982 years, 228 daysSri Lanka Armoured Corps
C. S. Weerasooriya RWP, RSP, VSV, USP
Weerasooriya, C.Lieutenant General
C. S. Weerasooriya RWP, RSP, VSV, USP
16 December 199824 August 20001 year, 252 daysSri Lanka Artillery
Lionel Balagalle RWP, RSP, VSV, USP, VSP
Balagalle, LionelLieutenant General
Lionel Balagalle RWP, RSP, VSV, USP, VSP
25 August 200030 June 20043 years, 310 daysSri Lanka Artillery
Shantha Kottegoda WWV, RWP, RSP, VSV, USP, VSP
Kottegoda, ShanthaLieutenant General
Shantha Kottegoda WWV, RWP, RSP, VSV, USP, VSP
(born 1949)
1 July 20045 December 20051 year, 157 daysSri Lanka Light Infantry
Sarath Fonseka RWP, RSP, VSV, USP
Fonseka, SarathLieutenant General
Sarath Fonseka RWP, RSP, VSV, USP
(born 1950)
6 December 200515 July 20093 years, 221 daysSri Lanka Sinha Regiment
Jagath Jayasuriya VSP, USP
Jayasuriya, JagathLieutenant General
Jagath Jayasuriya VSP, USP
15 July 20091 August 20134 years, 17 daysSri Lanka Armoured Corps
Daya Ratnayake WWV, RWP, RSP, USP
Ratnayake, DayaLieutenant General
Daya Ratnayake WWV, RWP, RSP, USP
1 August 201321 February 20151 year, 204 daysSri Lanka Light Infantry
Crishantha de Silva RWP, USP
Silva, CrishanthaLieutenant General
Crishantha de Silva RWP, USP
22 February 20154 July 20172 years, 132 daysSri Lanka Engineers
Mahesh Senanayake RWP, RSP, VSV, USP
Senanayake, MaheshLieutenant General
Mahesh Senanayake RWP, RSP, VSV, USP
4 July 201719 August 20192 years, 46 daysSri Lanka Engineers
Shavendra Silva WWV, RWP, RSP, USP
Silva, ShavendraLieutenant General
Shavendra Silva WWV, RWP, RSP, USP
(born 1964)
19 August 2019Incumbent176 daysGajaba Regiment

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "New Army Commander". Daily News Sri Lanka. 15 July 2009. Retrieved 29 August 2017.
  2. ^ "Mahesh Senanayake new army commander". Retrieved 27 October 2017.
  3. ^ "Former service chiefs promoted". Retrieved 27 October 2017.

External links[edit]