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Gotabaya Rajapaksa RWP RSP psc MSc - Secretary of Defence - Sri Lanka

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Gotabaya Rajapaksa RWP RSP psc MSc

Secretary to the Ministry of Defence and Urban Development

Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa assumed duties as the Secretary to the Ministry of Defence in November 2005. In this capacity he guided the Sri Lankan Defence Services to victory against the separatist terrorism of the LTTE, thereby ending a thirty year long conflict in Sri Lanka.

A career soldier, Mr. Rajapaksa joined the Sri Lanka Army in 1971 and served his country with distinction for twenty years. He commanded many anti-terrorist operations in the North and East of Sri Lanka at crucial times during the conflict. Amongst these, his command of the 1st Battalion of the Gajaba Regiment in the vital Vadamarachchi Operation in 1987, and his participation in Operation Thrividhabalaya in 1990 to rescue the Jaffna Peninsular from terrorist control are particularly noteworthy.

Following these accomplishments, Mr. Rajapaksa was appointed as the Deputy Commandant of Sir John Kotelawala Defence University in 1991 and, as a Lieutenant Colonel, was Coordinating Officer of the Welioya area from 1990 to 1991. Prior to that appointment, he was the Coordinating Officer of the Matale District and the Commanding Officer of the 1st Battalion, Gajaba Regiment from 1989 to 1990.

During his military career, Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa was awarded the President's Commendation letter by former President J R Jayewardene and decorated with the Rana Wickrama Padakkama and the Rana Sura Padakkama medals for valour in combat by former Presidents R Premadasa and D B Wijetunga. He has also received a commendation from the Commander of the Army for his bravery in action.

Hailing from the village of Weeraketiya in the South of Sri Lanka, Mr. Rajapaksa had his education at Ananda College, Colombo, Sri Lanka's premier Buddhist school. He completed his basic officer cadet training at the prestigious Military Academy at Diyatalawa, and subsequently completed the Young Officers Course at Rawalpindi and the Mid-Career Course at Quetta, Pakistan. He completed his Staff Course at the Defence Services Staff College in Wellington, India, in 1983, and obtained his Masters Degree in Defence Studies from the University of Madras in the same year. He underwent advanced training in Counter Insurgency and Jungle Warfare at Assam, India, and graduated in Advanced Infantry Training from the Infantry School at Fort Benning, USA later in his career.

Following his successful career in the Sri Lanka Army, Mr. Rajapaksa obtained a Masters Degree in Information Technology from the University of Colombo. He subsequently worked as the Unix System Administrator of the prestigious Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, California, prior to returning to Sri Lanka to take up his appointment as the Secretary to the Ministry of Defence.

Mr. Rajapaksa is the brother of the current President of Sri Lanka, His Excellency Mahinda Rajapaksa, and the son of former Parliamentarian and Deputy Speaker of Parliament, the late Mr D.A. Rajapaksa. Mr. Rajapaksa and his wife, Ioma, reside in Colombo.

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