General G. S. C. Fonseka RWP RSP VSV USP rcds psc was
appointed as the Chief of Defence Staff by His Excellency Mahinda
Rajapaksa, President of Sri Lanka and Commander in Chief of the Armed
Forces effective from 15th July 2009.
Lieutenant General G . S. C. Fonseka RWP RSP VSV USP
rcds psc was appointed as the Commander of the Army effective from 6th
December 2005 and later promoted to the rank of General by His
Excellency Mahinda Rajapaksa, President of Sri Lanka and
Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces on 18th May 2009.
Widely admired as one of the greatest battle-hardened
warriors of our time, General G. S. C Fonseka has served largely as an
illustrious infantry soldier in the northern theatre of war during his
exemplary career, particularly at the peak of the LTTE terrorism.
To his credit, when the Jaffna Fort was under siege
for a long period, then Colonel G. S. C Fonseka led troops in the famous
'Midnight Express operation', to rescue troops. Incidentally, the
incumbent Secretary Defence Lieutenant Colonel Gotabaya Rajapaksa too
was with him and together they rescued the lives of hundreds of troops
who would always remember them for their leadership and bravery.
His enormous contribution as Deputy General Officer
Commanding to conduct operation, 'Riviresa' to evict terrorists and
capture Jaffna town in December 1995 continues to remain a living memory
because of the dynamic leadership he jointly imparted to his
fellow-soldiers, and his meticulously planned tactical knowledge of the
warfare, he has possessed. In the same vein, troops commanded by Gen
Fonseka offered stiff resistance to LTTE terrorists during operation
'unceasing waves' in 2000, and further consolidated the security network
to Jaffna during his four-month stint as Commander, Security Forces
Headquarters, Jaffna .
General Fonseka, as a fearless infantryman was at the
forefront in operations, 'Balawegaya' and 'Jayasikuru,' that led to
rescue the Elephant Pass and capture Mankulam. It was none other than
the 6th Battalion of his Sri Lanka Sinha Regiment that was under siege
at Elephant Pass in 1991 and reinforcements in a meticulously devised
operation successfully repulsed the LTTE attack.
General Fonseka, distinguished himself by his
dauntless bravery and excellent command in warfare as well as for his
common touch with his troops, sustained injuries during the operation 'Yaldevi'
following terrorist attacks. Jaffna, finally became his second home
during May 2002-November 2003 after he was again appointed the
Commander, Security Forces Headquarters, Jaffna.
His awards and decorations include the Gallantry
Medals, Rana Wickrema Padakkama (RWP), Rana Sura Padakkama (RSP),
Vishishta Seva Vibhushana (VSV). Utthama Seva Padakkama (USP), Riviresa
Campaign Service Medal, Poorna Bhoomi medal, North & East Operations
Medal, Desha Puthra Sammanaya and several others.
Over and above the command appointments, he has held a
large number of various staff appointments including the Chief of Staff
office in the Army, the post he relinquished to take reins as Commander
of the Army.
His exciting career opportunities covered almost every
sphere of military experience. He served as Deputy Chief of Staff, Sri
Lanka Army (01 July 2004 - 09 December 2004), Director General Infantry,
Army Headquarters and later on commanded the Sri Lanka Army Volunteer
Force between 23 November 2003 and 15 August 2004. In recognition of his
fearless leadership, he was twice appointed the Commander, Security
Forces Headquarters, Jaffna (21 April- 21 July 2000) and (05 May 2002 to
23 November 2003).
He was also the Commandant, Army Command and Staff
College at Battalanda during a very brief period. (05 February-05 May
2002). After his first tenure of office as the Commander, Security
Forces Headquarters, Jaffna, he assumed duties as the Commander,
Security Forces Headquarters, Wanni on 21 July 2000 and remained there
until 12 December, the same year. Despite his busy schedules, Gen Sarath
Fonseka simultaneously overlooked the offices of Inspector of Infantry,
Quarter Master General, Director General General Staff, Army
Headquarters for a short period in 2000. He was the General Officer
Commanding in 22 Division, Trincomalee between 10 November 1998 and 15
On being promoted to the two-star rank of Major
General on 23 February 1998, Major General Sarath Fonseka became the
Colonel of the Sri Lanka Sinha Regiment on 01 February 2002. Major Gen
Fonseka served as Officiating General Officer Commanding 55 Division,
Mirusuvil, Officiating General Officer Commanding , Task Force 2 in
Vavuniya, Deputy General Officer Commanding - Task Force 2 in Vavuniya,
Commander, 23 Brigade Pollonnaruwa, Deputy General Officer Commanding,
51 Division, Jaffna, Coordinating Officer for Kayts and Mandativu,
Commander , 27 Brigade Kilinochchi, Commander, 3 Brigade Batticaloa,
Coordinating Officer Election and Security for North and East, Deputy
Commander Task Force 1 and Commander Designate Mechanized Brigade,
Officiating Commander 21 Brigade, Director Operations after his
promotion to the rank of Brigadier on 01 December 1993.
As a Colonel, General Sarath Fonseka commanded the 23
Brigade Polonnaruwa in 1993. Among other appointments, he held included
Colonel General Staff Army Headquarters, Centre Commandant, Sri Lanka
Sinha Regiment, Deputy Commandant - 5 Brigade Group, Mannar, Brigade
Commander Operation Balavegaya and Coordinating Officer for Gampaha.
As a Lieutenant Colonel, he commanded the 1st
Battalion, Sri Lanka Sinha Regiment before he assumed the office of
General Staff Officer 1 (Operations), HQ 2 Division, Anuradhapura,
Officer Commanding/Chief Instructor and Deputy Commandant, Infantry
Training Centre, Minneriya.
Enlisted to the Army on 05th February 1970, he was
commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant and subsequently posted to the 1st
Battalion, Sri Lanka Sinha Regiment on 01st June 1971. He has followed
the UK-based course offered by Royal College of Defence Studies,
Infantry Officers Advanced Course (USA), Staff College Course
(Bangladesh), Company Commanders Course (Pakistan), Battalion Support
Weapons Course (India), Counter Insurgency Jungle Warfare Course
(India), Commando Officers Course (India) and has represented Sri Lanka
in a number of international seminars and conferences, including the
Pacific Armies Management Seminar (Japan), Conference on fourth
International Exhibition of Defence (UK) and another overseas seminar in
Geneva. In what was seen a recognition of his military maturity, he was
selected to undertake an inspection assignment in Iran in 1992.
General Fonseka, a product of Ambalangoda Dharmasoka
College (1958-1965) and Ananda College, Colombo (1966-1969) is a keen
sportsman who has excelled in swimming and water polo representing
defence services and the country. General Fonseka, married to Mrs Anoma
Fonseka has two daughters, Apsara and Aparna.
General Fonseka who through his dedication, commitment
and untiring military prowess succeeded in bringing the 30-year old War
for Separation to an end was promoted to the rank of General on 18th May
2009, the day, he along with Secretary Defence and other service chiefs
officially conveyed His Excellency the President of the final completion
of the war.