December 31, 2019
The Commander of the Sri Lanka Army Lt. Gen. Shavendra Silva has been appointed as the acting Chief of Defence Staff by his Excellency the President Gotabaya Rajapaksa with effect from January 01, 2020.
Lt. Gen. LHSC Silva WWV RWP RSP VSV USP ndc psc assumed duties as the 23rd Commander of the Sri Lanka Army, on 18 August 2019. He was holding appointment as the Chief of Staff of the Sri Lanka Army and Colonel of the Regiment of the Gajaba Regiment and the Commando Regiment when he was appointed as the Army Commander. At present, he is also the Colonel of the Regiment of Special Forces.
He was enlisted to the Regular Intake 19 of the Army on 5 March 1984 and received training at the Sri Lanka Military Academy. After being commissioned on 16th November 1985, the young officer was posted to the Gajaba Regiment as the first ever Gajaba Regiment Officer to be originally posted to the Regiment since its inception. No sooner than he joined the 1st Battalion Gajaba Regiment, the Commanding Officer made him to be a Platoon Commander in a Company of Special Service Group (SSG) which later was developed to be a Rapid Deployment Force (RDF) which is now known as Special Forces (SF).
Lt. Gen. Shavendra Silva has the distinction of becoming the first Commander of the Army who was graduated in passed staff college (psc) at the Defence Services Command and Staff College (DSCSC) and in several overseas Defence Colleges. The DSCSC inaugurated the ‘Wall of Fame ‘by unveiling the Commander’s photograph as the DSCSC-produced first Commander of the Army in recognition of his academic achievements.
He is one of the highest decorated military officers with different varieties of medals and he was also the first Second Lieutenant of the Sri Lanka Army to receive three different types of gallantry medals, namely the Weera Wickrama Vibushanaya (WWV), Rana Wickrama Padakkama (RWP), Rana Soora Padakkama (RSP) for the first time and Vishishta Seva Vibhushanaya (VSV) and Uththama Seva Padakkama (USP) for his distinguished service.
In 2010, he was assigned as the Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations, in New York. He is the one and only serving military officer in Sri Lanka’s history to be promoted to an ‘Ambassadorial’ rank by the Foreign Service in Sri Lanka. Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva became the first Sri Lankan to be appointed to the United Nations High-Level Advisory Panel on Peacekeeping Missions by the then UN Secretary General.
Lt. Gen. Shavendra Silva succeeds Admiral Ravindra C Wijegunaratne who retired as the Chief of Defence Staff, today (31) after serving the nation for 39 years.