Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa
A brave son of Ananda
President Mahinda Rajapaksa's exemplary political leadership led to
the magnificent victory achieved by the Security Forces just two months
ago. One of the main factors that helped achieve this victory was
undoubtedly the dynamic role played by his brother Gotabhaya Rajapaksa,
the Defence Secretary, an old Anandian. He was in a unique position as
he was trusted 100 percent by the Commander-in-Chief and the Forces
Commanders. Being a battle-hardened soldier himself, he understood the
priorities of the Commanders and the soldiers and ensured that they
received all required facilities. The Nation will forever be grateful to
this valiant son of Ananda for his pivotal role in the war effort.
Rajapaksa assumed duties as Secretary, Ministry of Defence, Public
Security, Law & Order on 25th November 2005.
A career soldier, Rajapaksa joined the Sri Lanka Army in 1971, spent
twenty years in service, and held the appointment of Deputy Commandant
of Sir John Kotelawala Defence University in 1991 and, as a Lieutenant
Colonel was Coordinating Officer of Welioya area from 1990 to 1991.
Prior to that, he was the Coordinating Officer of Matale District and
the Commanding Officer of the 1st Battalion, Gajaba Regiment from 1989
to 1990. He has also held numerous other positions in the Sri Lanka Army
such as Instructor, Adjutant, and Staff officer to the Operations
Officer commanding contingents.
During his military career, Mr. Gotabhaya Rajapaksa has been awarded
the President's Commendation letter by former President J R Jayewardene
and medals for valour in combat such as Rana Wickrama Padakkama and Rana
Sura Padakkama by former Presidents R Premadasa and D B Wijetunga. He
has also received a commendation from the Commander of the Army for his
bravery in action.
He has commanded many anti-terrorist operations in the North and East
in different capacities. Among them was his Command of the 1st Battalion
of the Gajaba Regiment in the important Vadamarachhci Operation in 1987
and Operation Thrividabalaya in 1990 respectively, to rescue Jaffna
peninsula and the Jaffna Fort from terrorist control.
Hailing from the village of Weeraketiya in the South of Sri Lanka, he
had his education at Ananda College, Colombo.
He completed his basic officer cadet training at the prestigious
Military Academy at Diyatalawa, and proceeded to Pakistan to complete
the Young Officers' Course at Rawalpindi and later the mid-carrier
course at Quetta.
He has also undergone advanced training in Counter Insurgency and
Jungle Warfare at Assam, India. Later in his career, Rajapaksa graduated
in advanced Infantry Training from Infantry School Fort Benning, USA. As
a staff officer , Mr. Rajapaksa completed his Staff Course at the
Defence Services Staff College in Wellington, India in 1983. He obtained
his Masters degree on Defence Studies from the University of Madras in