Army Commander made full General


General Jagath Jayasuriya

by Madura Ranwala

Commander of the Army, Lt. Gen. Jagath Jayasuriya has been promoted to the rank of General from June 1, 2013.

Military spokesman Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasooriya told The Island yesterday that he was the first serving commander to be promoted to the rank of General while still under the age of 55.

However, he is the second commander in the history of Sri Lanka to be promoted to the rank of full General while serving as Army Commander. The first was Gen. Sarath Fonseka in 2009 after winning the war.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces promoted Commander of the Army, Lieutenant General Jagath

Jayasuriya VSV USP ndu psc to the rank of General retrospectively from 1st June 2013, he said. "General Jagath Jayasuriya is the 19th Commander of the Army. He assumed office on 15th July 2009, less than two months after the war against terrorism was brought to a completion. General Jagath Jayasuriya had been the Commander, Security Forces Wanni since August 2007 until he took over as the Army Commander."

Gen. Jayasuriya is an old boy of Royal College, Colombo who had completed his higher studies in the science stream and excelled in different spheres, especially in the field of sports. He was awarded boxing colours in 1974, 1976 and 1977 and became one of the best athletes in the school. He also played cricket, basketball and hockey for the college.

Gen. Jayasuriya has been an international referee/judge in Boxing.

In 1978, he joined the Sri Lanka Army as a Cadet Officer and passed out first in order of merit of the Intake-10 and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant on 23rd January 1980. Subsequently, he rose to the ranks of Lieutenant (1981), Captain (1984), Major (1988), Lieutenant Colonel (1993), Colonel (2001), Brigadier (2001) Major General (December 2005) and Lieutenant General (2009) respectively. He has held a number of operational and staff appointments.

Upon completion of the military training at Diyatalawa Sri Lanka Military Academy, he served as Troop Leader 1st Reconnaissance Regiment (1980-1983) and as Adjutant (1984-1985) which he later commanded.

General Jayasuriya is a recipient of several awards and military decorations, including Vishishta Seva Vibhushanaya (VSV), Uttama Seva Padakkama (USP), Army 50th anniversary medal, Long Service Medal and Clasp, 50th Independence Medal, Desha Puthra Sammanaya, North and East Operations Medal, Poorna Bhoomi Padakkama, Riviresa Campaign Service Medal and a few more.

Gen. Jayasuriya, a battle-hardened soldier, sustained serious injuries during the Operation Jayasikuru in 1998.

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