Commander of the Army (Sri Lanka)
|Commander of the Sri Lanka Army|
|Sri Lanka Army|
|Member of||National Security Council|
|Reports to||Ministry of Defence
Chief of Defence Staff
|Term length||Not fixed
|Constituting instrument||Army Act, No. 17 of 1949|
|Precursor||Commander of the Ceylon Defence Force|
|Formation||20 October 1949
as Commander of the Ceylon Army
|First holder||Brigadier Roderick Sinclair (as Commander Ceylon Army)|
|Deputy||Chief of Staff of the Sri Lanka Army|
The Commander of the Army is the title of the professional head of the Sri Lanka Army. The current Commander of the Army is Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake. It is a position comparable to that of Chief of the General Staff of the British Army.
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. After the formation of the Ceylon Army in 1949, the title Commander of the Ceylon Army was formally adopted although it was at times referred to as General Officer Commanding, Ceylon until as late as the 1960s. Brig. Roderick Sinclair, 19th Earl of Caithness was the first Commander of the army of independent Sri Lanka (then Ceylon).
Since the 1980's 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.
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)
- General's House, Colombo
- Chief of Defence Staff
- Sri Lanka Army
- Commander of the Navy
- Commander of the Air Force