Jagath Jayasuriya

Jagath Jayasuriya
Allegiance Sri Lanka
Service/branch  Sri Lanka Army
Years of service 1980 - 2015
Rank General
Unit Sri Lanka Armoured Corps
Commands held Chief of Defence Staff,
Commander of the Army,
Commander Security Forces Headquarters - Wanni
Battles/wars Sri Lankan Civil War,
Insurrection 1987-89
Awards Vishista Seva Vibhushanaya,
Uttama Seva Padakkama,
Desha Putra Sammanaya
Other work Ambassador to Brazil

Jagath Jayasuriya, VSV, USP, ndc, psc, SLAC is a retired Sri Lanka Army general. He was the Chief of Defence Staff and Commander of the Sri Lankan Army.[1] During the final Eelam war he was the Commander Security Forces Headquarters - Wanni with overall command of the SLA offensives in the Wanni region during 2008 - 2009 period that led to the final victory of the SLA over the LTTE in the Sri Lankan civil war.[2] In 2015, he was appointed Sri Lanakn Ambassador to Brazil.[3]

Education & Family

Educated at the Royal College, Colombo, Jayasuriya captained the college boxing team in 1977, winning colours for boxing and was a senior prefect. He is a graduate of the Defence Services Staff College; the Defence Resource Management Institute, Naval Postgraduate School; and the National Defence University. In 1990 he gained a Master of Science Degree in Defence Studies from the University of Madras and had also attended the School of Armour, Pakistan and the Armoured Corps Centre and School, India.[4]

He was the youngest of six brothers and one of his older brothers was an officer in the Sri Lanka Navy.

Military career

Joining the army after completing schooling in 1978 as a cadet officer, he was at the top of his class at the Army Training Centre and was commissioned into the Sri Lanka Armoured Corps as a Second Lieutenant in 1980 with his military career spanning the Sri Lankan Civil War. He was promoted to the ranks of Lieutenant in 1981, Captain in 1984, Major in 1988 and Lieutenant Colonel in 1993. During this time he had served as a troop leader (1980–1983) and adjutant (1984–1985) of the 1st Reconnaissance Regiment. After a brief posting as a staff officer at Army Headquarters, he was later appointed as squadron commander, 1st Reconnaissance Regiment. From 1990 to 1992 he had served as a Brigade Major, 9 Brigade in Jaffna and served as Chief Instructor at Officers Study Centre and Staff Officer II (Training), Army Training Centre. In 1992 he was the Second in Command of the 3rd Reconnaissance Regiment and had served as a Staff Officer of the Armoured Brigade in 1994 he became the Commanding Officer, 1st Reconnaissance Regiment, Sri Lanka Armoured Corps till June 1995. During July 1995 - May 1996, he was the General Staff Officer at the Joint Operations Headquarters (JOH) and later served as Military Secretary Army Headquarters.[4]

In 1997 he was the Brigade Commander of the Armoured Brigade and in 1998 brigade commander, 563 Infantry Brigade. He was critically injured during the Operation Jayasikurui in 1998, when his jeep hit a land mine. After recuperating he was the military liaison officer at Ministry of Defence till 2002 and was promoted to Brigadier in 2001. That year he was appointed as Commandant, Sri Lanka Military Academy. In December 2004, he was appointed Director of Operations at Army Headquarters and thereafter promoted to the rank of Major General he took over as General Officer Commanding of the 52 Division.[4]

In mid-2007 he was appointed as Commander Security Forces Headquarters - Wanni (SFHQ-W). From this capacity he directed the military operations in the Wanni region that was aimed at regaining area controlled by the LTTE. This saw several major battles which included the Battle of Vidattaltivu, the Battle of Paranthan, the Battle of Kilinochchi, the Third Battle of Elephant Pass and the Battle of Mullaitivu. At the height of the war he had 5 divisions and 3 task forces under his command, thus making it the largest military command in Sri Lankan military history. He is the Colonel Commandant of the Sri Lanka Armoured Corps and the Mechanized Infantry Regiment.[4]

In 2009, he left SFHQ-W to take over as Commander of the Sri Lankan Army. In June 2013, he was promoted to the rank of General and was appointed as Chief of Defence Staff with effect from August 2013, when he relinquished command as Army Commander.[5] He held the post till June 2015 when he retired from the army.

General Jayasuriya has received the Vishista Seva Vibhushanaya (VSV), Uttama Seva Padakkama (USP), the Sri Lanka Armed Services Long Service Medal, the Desha Putra Sammanaya, the Riviresa Campaign Services Medal, the Purna Bhumi Padakkama and the North and East Operations Medal.[4]

Post military career

Following his retirement from the army, General Jayasuriya was appointed as Sri Lankan Ambassador to Brazil, in which capacity he is concurrently accredited as Ambassador to Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Peru and Suriname.[3]

Personal Life

He is married to Manjulika Aruna and has two children, Sanjaya and Deshanee.


External links

Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Raja Edirisuriya
Sri Lankan Ambassador to Brazil
Succeeded by
Military offices
Preceded by
Roshan Goonetileke
Chief of the Defence Staff
1 August 2013 - 15 June 2015
Succeeded by
Kolitha Gunathilake
Preceded by
Sarath Fonseka
Commander of the Army
15 July 2009 - 1 August 2013
Succeeded by
Daya Ratnayake
Preceded by
Upali Edirisinghe
Commander Security Forces Headquarters - Wanni
2006 - 2009
Succeeded by

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