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Defence Secretary Mr. Gotabhaya Rajapaksa

Mr. Rajapaksa joined Sri Lanka Army in 1971. He received extensive local and overseas training. He provided his astute leadership in many battles and served many top ranks of the Gajaba Regiment of the Army. He was awarded the medals Ranavikrama & Ranashuura for his bravery and skills in the battlefront.

Army Commander, Gen. Sarath Fonseka

Gen. Fonseka joined Sri Lanka Army in 1971. He received extensive local and overseas training. He provided his astute leadership in many battles and served many top ranks of the Sinha Regiment of the Army. He was awarded the medals Ranavikrama & Ranashuura Vishishta Seva Vibhushana Uttama Seva, Purnabhumi, Deshaputhra and Riviresa for his bravery and skills in the battlefront. He was appointed Commander of the Sri Lanka Army on 6th December 2005. He was the first 4-star General in the country and was rated the Best Army Commander in the world.

He was a candidate for Presidency in 2010. However, he was stripped of his medals and title following a court-martial hearing.

 

Navy Commander, Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda

Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda joined the Sri Lanka Navy in 1971. He received extensive local and overseas training. He provided his astute leadership in many battles and served many top ranks of the Navy. He was awarded the medals Ranashuura, Vishishta Seva Vibhashana, Uttama Seva,Purnabhum and Riviresa for his bravery and skills in the battlefront. He was appointed Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy on 1st September 2005.

 

Director General of Civil Defence Force Rear Admiral Sarath Weerasekera

Director General of Civil Defence Force Rear Admiral Sarath Weerasekera joined the Sri Lanka Navy in 1971. He received extensive local and overseas training. He provided his astute leadership in many battles and served many top ranks of the Navy. He was awarded the medals Ranavikrama, Uttama Seva and Purnabhumi for his bravery and skills in the battlefront.

 

The list of brave Anandians given above is not exhaustive and does not do justice to all who sacrificed their lives and also survived the war. Sadly, it had to be limited just to the topmost ranks of armed forces, who put an end to the blood bath that had plagued the country for 3 decades.

The victory over the LTTE seemed to be based on the simple equation of finishing it within the least possible time, while inflicting maximum damage to the enemy and minimising damage to ourselves and safeguard civilians. The strategy no doubt helped maintain the morale of the army at high levels. It also minimised war related expenditure.

Profiles of the Heroes (Wikipedia)

Mr. Gotabhaya Rajapaksa

Lieutenant Colonel (Ret). Nandasena Gotabhaya Rajapaksa (born 20 June 1949) RWP, RSP is a retired officer of the Sri Lanka Army and the current Defence Secretary of Sri Lanka. After serving through the early parts of the country's civil war with Tamil Tiger rebels, he retired from the Army in 1992. With the election of his brother Mahinda Rajapaksa as President of Sri Lanka, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa was appointed Defence Secretary in November 2005.

As Defence Secretary, Rajapaksa is largely credited with masterminding the successes achieved by the Sri Lankan Military in defeating the Tamil Tigers and ending Sri Lanka's 25 year long civil war in May 2009. He was also one of the top targets of the Tamil Tigers, and survived an assassination attempt in December 2006 by a Tamil Tiger suicide bomber. He was conferred Doctor of Letters by the University of Colombo on September 6, 2009.

Early life and Family

Gotabaya Rajapaksa was born in Palatuwa in the Matara District, and brought up in Weeraketiya in the southern rural district of Hambantota. He hails from a well-known political family in Sri Lanka. His father, D. A. Rajapaksa, was a prominent politician, independence agitator, Member of Parliament, Deputy Speaker and a Cabinet Minister of Agriculture and Land. His uncle, D.M. Rajapaksa, was a State Councilor for Hambantota in the 1930s. His brother, Mahinda Rajapaksa was first elected to parliament as a member of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party at the age of 24 in 1970. He gradually rose through the ranks of the party, becoming opposition leader in 2001, Prime Minister in 2004 and the President of Sri Lanka in 2005. Two of his other brothers, Chamal Rajapaksa was elected Speaker of the New Parliament in 2010, and Basil Rajapaksa is a Cabinet Minister in charge of Economic Development.

Military Career

Mr. Rajapaksa joined the Sri Lanka Army as a Cadet Officer on April 26, 1971. He was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant on May 25, 1972 and given his first command as an officer in the Ceylon Signals Corps. Thereafter he served in the Sri Lanka Sinha Regiment and the Rajarata Rifles before being transferred to the Gajaba Regiment upon its formation in 1983 with the amalgamation of the Rajarata Rifles and Vijayabahu Infantry Regiment.

He rose up the ranks in the military, serving as the second in command of the 1st Gajaba Regiment and latter commanding the 1GR from 1983 - 1990. He served in the battlefronts of Jaffna, participating in Operation Liberation, the offensive mounted to liberate Vadamarachi from LTTE in 1987. He also commanded the same battalion in Operation "Strike Hard" and Operation "Thrivida Balaya" in 1990. He was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel, and served as the Commandant of the Kotelawala Defence Academy at the time of his retirement in 1992.

During his 20 years of military service, Rajapaksa has received awards for gallantry from three Presidents of Sri Lanka, J.R. Jayewardene, Ranasinghe Premadasa and D.B. Wijetunga. He had followed Signal Young Officers course in school of signals at Rawalpindi Pakistan, Infantry Company Commanders course in Quetta Pakistan, Jungle warfare and counter insurgency course in Assam, India, Command and Staff course at Defence Services Staff College in Welington, India and Advanced Infantry Officers course in fort Benning , Georgia, USA.

Life after retirement

Upon his retirement from the Army after serving for 20 years, Rajapaksa obtained a Post Graduate Diploma in Computer Technology from the University of Colombo and was employed in the IT field of the local corporate sector. He later migrated to the United States of America, where he worked at Loyola Law School, 919, s. Albany street. Los Angeles, CA, Information Technology Department, as the UNIX Systems Administrator for more than eight years. Prior to joining Loyola he was at DTR Business Systems, Inc. Walnut, CA as UNIX systems integrator. In order to assist his brother's Presidential election campaign, Rajapaksa returned to Sri Lanka in 2005. He has a US Green card.

Secretary to the Ministry of Defence

Gotabhaya Rajapaksa was appointed to the post of Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Defence in November 2005 by newly elected President Mahinda Rajapaksa. In this capacity he oversaw the military operation which eventually defeated the LTTE in May, 2009 after 25 years of fighting.

Attempted assassination

On 1st December 2006, at approximately 10:35 an assassin attempted to drive an explosive laden auto-rickshaw into Rajapaksa's motorcade as it traveled through Kollupitiya, Colombo. The Sri Lanka Army Commandos guarding him obstructed the vehicle carrying the explosives before it reached Rajapakse's vehicle and two commandos were instantly killed. Rajapaksa however escaped unhurt. The LTTE were blamed for the attack. 


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