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New Army Chief of Staff assumes duties

Major General R.M.D Rathnayake RWP RSP USP ndu psc, more popularly known as ‘Daya Rathnayake’ assumed duties last morning after a brief ceremony as the 43rd Chief of Staff in the Sri Lanka Army.

Major General Rathnayake on entering his office at the Army Headquarters observed religious rites.

As members of the Maha Sangha, led by Ven. Sugathawansa Thera of Uththara Chethiyaramaya, Bandaragama commenced chanting ‘Seth Pirith’, the new Chief of Staff initialled the first official document, inaugurating administrative work in his new appointment. The clergy invoked blessings on Maj. Gen. Rathnayake on his new appointment.

The chief of the clergy, showing his gesture of goodwill gifted a memento to the newly appointed Chief of Staff.

Major General Rathnayake has been serving until up to now as Commissioner General, Rehabilitation of former LTTE combatants and Colonel of the Regiment, Sri Lanka Light Infantry (SLLI) since August 6, 2009 and August 16, 2009 respectively. His dedication and contribution for Rehabilitation of ex-LTTE combatants under the Ministry of Justice has won him plaudits from all quarters both at local and international levels.

Major General Rathnayake, to his credit served as Military Spokesman between 2004- 2006.

He served as Commander, Forward Maintenance Area (North) from August 2007 to August 2009.

He was also the General Officer Commanding, 23 Division from December 2005 until up to August 2007 during the peak of Humanitarian Operations in the East. Some of other prestigious and key appointments, held by Major General Rathnayake to-date are as follows.

Chief of Military Staff at MoD (2003-2004), Area Commander, Kandy (2002-2003), Commandant, SLLI Regimental Headquarters (2001-2002), officiating Commander for 533 & 534 Brigades (1998-2000), Commanding Officer, Officer Cadet Training Wing, Sri Lanka Military Academy, Diyatalawa (1996-1998), Regimental Adjutant, SLLI (1991-1992) and a few other appointments including those in the Unit between 1981- 1992.

Major General Rathnayake as an Infantry officer has followed a number of local and foreign training courses during his illustrious career. Commando Officers Course (India), Infantry Young Officers Course (India), Battalion Special Weapons Course (India), Infantry Staff Officer Course (USA), Junior Commander Course (India), Staff Course (Bangladesh), Senior Commander Course (India), Infantry Course (USA), Management Course (India) and National Defence University Course (China) are among a few of them. He is a product of Maliyadeva College Kurunegala and joined the Army on February 6, 1980 and received his commission as 2nd Lieutenant on July 18, 1981.

His predecessor, Major General Mendaka Samarasinghe has now been appointed to the Office of the Chief of Defence Staff as Chief of Staff, Joint Staff.

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