New Army Commander
Lieutenant General Jagath Jayasuriya an illustrious officer from the
Sri Lanka Armoured Corps will take over the command of the Sri Lanka
Army as the 19th commander succeeding General Sarath Fonseka who
relinquished duties yesterday to take over the post of Chief of Defence
Jayasuriya who hails from the Southern town of Weligama, Matara
completed his education at Royal College and joined the , Sri Lanka Army
He passed out first in order of merit of Intake 10, and commissioned
as Second Lieutenant on January 23, 1980 to join the Sri Lanka Armoured
A famous boxer at Royal College Colombo, Jayasuriya captained the
college boxing team in 1977.
He also held the position of Secretary of the Amateur Boxing
Association of Sri Lanka in 2006 and 2007. He is the youngest of the six
brothers in his family. Now he is a father of two, a son and a daughter
Sanjaya (23) and Deshani (16) after his marriage with Manjulika.
During his illustrious career in the Sri Lanka Army, Jayasuriya
served in various operational and staff positions in peace and
operational areas and commanded the 1st Reconnaissance Regiment,
Armoured Brigade, 632 Brigade, 52 Division before he was appointed as
the Security Forces Commander Wanni, in 2007 after he was promoted to
the rank of Major General on December 6, 2005. He also had the
opportunity to serve as the Staff Officer to late Lieutenant General
Denzil Kobbekaduwa during the Eelam War IV.
As the General Staff Officer I of the Joint Operations Headquarters
from July 1995 to May 1996, he contributed for the famous Riviresa I, II
and IIIí operation to liberate the Jaffna peninsula from the clutches of
It was in March 4, 1998, he had a narrow escape when his jeep was
caught in a land mine explosion in Kolamadu area during the Jaya Sikuru
operation in which he sustained severe internal injuries.
He was commanding the 563 Infantry Brigade. He was also appointed as
the Military Liaison Officer, of the Defence Ministry from January 1998
to June 2002.
He was the Commandant of the Sri Lanka Military Academy, Diyatalawa
from July 2002 to August 2004 and appointed as the Director Operations,
Army Headquarters, from December 2004 to August 2005. He served as the
General Officer Commanding, 52 Division from August 2005 to August 2006.
It was in August 2007, he was appointed as the Security Forces
Commander, Vanni when the Sri Lanka Army started operations to liberate
Vanni with the formation of a number of offensive Division starting from
the formation of the 57 Division.
He was entrusted with the daunting task of handling the exodus of
civilians arriving in Vanni from the Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu
districts as intense battles were going on between the Security Forces
and the LTTE whilst overlooking ongoing operations but took up the
challenge after effectively handing the civilian exodus at the final
stages of the battle.
He has undergone Young Officers Course at School of Armour, Nowshera,
Pakistan in 1980, Radio Instructors Course at Armoured Corps Centre and
School, India in 1982, Senior Tactics Course at Sri Lanka Military
Academy in 1987, Mid Career Course, School of Armour, Nowshera, Pakistan
in 1988, Defence Service Staff College Course at Welington, India in
1989, Master of Science degree in Defence Studies, University of Madras,
India in 1990, International Defence Management Course, California USA
in 2004 and at National Defence University Course in China, China in
He has been awarded Uttama Seva Padakkama, Sri Lanka Army 50th
Anniversary medal, Sri Lanka Armed Services Long service Medal and
Clasp, Sri Lanka 50th year of Independence, Desha Putra Sammanaya, North
and East Operations Medal, Poorna Bhoomi Padakkama and Riviresa Campaign
- Ranil Wijayapala