Deshamanya Gen. Denis Perera dead


Deshamanya General J. E. D. Perera, VSV D Litt (Honoris Causa), FCMI (UK) FImgt (SL) ndc, psc, former Commander of the Sri Lanka Army passed away yesterday, in Colombo, at the age of 83 years. 

Joseph Everard Denis Perera was born on October 10 1930 in Colombo. He was educated at St Peter’s College, Colombo where he excelled in the academic field whilst proving to be an outstanding sportsman, particularly in Athletic, Rugby and Tennis. He was also a member o the College Cadet Platoon.

Having enlisted in the Sri Lanka Army as an Officer Cadet on October 10 1949, he underwent initial military training at the prestigious Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst in the United Kingdom from October 11, 1949 to August 2, 1951. On successful completion of the Officer Cadet Course in the United Kingdom, he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant on August 2, 1951 and was posted to the Ceylon Engineers.

Desamannya General J. E. D. Perera began his illustrious military career with the Ceylon Engineers. Due to his dedication and competence, he was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant on February 2, 1953, Captain on February 2, 1956 and Major on October 1 1960. His outstanding performances were further rewarded by being promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel on October 1, 1969, Colonel on January 31, 1973, Brigadier on August 5, 1977, Major General on October 14, 1977 and Lieutenant General on September 14, 1981.

He held the following key appointments during his tenure of service in the Sri Lanka Army.

Troop Commander, Staff Captain (A) Army Headquarters, Squadron Commander, Officer Commanding CSME, Defence Attaché, Sri Lankan High Commission in London, 2nd In Command – 1 Field Engineer Regiment, Commandant Army Training Centre,Commander Southern Command, Commander Northern Command, Director Plans – Army Headquarters, Director Operation and Training – Army Headquarters, Chief of Staff – Army Headquarters and Commander of the Sri Lanka Army.

He was appointed as the Commander of the Sri Lanka Army on October 14, 1977 and promoted to the rank of Lieutenant General on September 14, 1981. He was the Commander of the Sri Lanka Army for 4 years. During his tenure as the Commander of the Army, he provided strong leadership to the military operations conducted in the North and East. He also set the pace for the rapid expansion of the Sri Lanka Army which was much needed to curb the rising terrorism during that period. He also initiated many infrastructure development projects in the Army. He was a founder of the Kotalawala Defence University and as Chancellor brought it up to what it is today. During his military career he contributed immensely to the betterment of the Army and won the admiration of his superiors as well as his subordinates. He was a source of encouragement and inspiration to officers and other ranks alike. He was always held in high esteem among his peers and colleagues. After completing 32 years of a yeoman service in the Army, he retired on October 14, 1981.

Desamannya General J. E. D. Perera VSV ndc psc followed several courses in the United Kingdom and India. He graduated from the Army Staff College Camberley (UK) and National Defence College New Delhi India. Apart from that he was a Doctor of Letters (Honoris Causa). In addition he attended many important seminars at home and abroad. Some of the other military courses attended during his military career are Pacific Arms Management Seminar and Young Officers Course.

In recognition of his dedication, efficiency and loyalty, the following Medals were awarded to him during his tenure of service.

 Vishishta Seva Vibhushanaya, Purna Bhumi Padakkama, Republic of Sri Lanka Armed Services Medal 1972, Sri Lanka Army 10th Anniversary Medal 1959, Sri Lanka Army 25th Anniversary Medal 1974, Ceylon Armed Forces Inauguration Medal, Sri Lanka Armed Services Long Service Medal 1979, Presidents Inauguration Medal 1978, Volunteer Force 100th Anniversary Medal.

In honour of his committed and dedicated service to the nation, the President promoted him to the rank of General on October 01 2007.

The last rites of the late Desamannya General J. E. D. Perera VSV ndc psc. with full military honours. will be held on August 14, 2013 at 1630 hours at the General Cemetery, Borella.

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