Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne assumes duties as CDS

The President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, His Excellency Maithripala Sirisena promoted the former Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy, Vice Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne to the 4-star rank of Admiral and appointed him as the Chief of Defence Staff with effect from 22nd August 2017.

Admiral Wijegunaratne was accorded a 48-member Guard of Honour on his arrival at the Naval Headquarters on 22nd August 2017 upon being promoted to the 4-star rank. The Chief of Staff and the Director Generals of the Navy warmly received the newly promoted Admiral and conveyed him their best wishes. Upon ceremonially handing over the duties of Navy Commander to Vice Admiral Travis Sinniah, Admiral Wijegunaratne proceeded to the CDS office at the BMICH where he was accorded a Tri Forces Guard of Honour marking his assumption of duties as the new Defence Chief.  

Admiral Wijegunaratne is a highly decorated senior naval officer with four gallantry medals for his act of bravery and valor. He is a recipient of ‘Weerodhara Vibushanaya’, the highest gallantry medal in Sri Lanka for non-military nature, ‘Rana Wickrama Medal’ awarded twice for individual gallantry in the face of the enemy and ‘Rana Sura Medal’ for collective gallantry in the face of the enemy. He was also awarded the ‘Vishista Seva Vibhushanaya’ (VSV) and the ‘Uththama Seva Padakkama’ (USP) for his unblemished and exemplary naval career.

Admiral Wijegunaratne is the senior most Special Forces naval officer who was instrumental in forming the Sri Lanka Navy’s Special Force element known as the Special Boat Squadron (SBS) which contributed immensely during the conflict period. He commanded this elite unit twice in his career and led a number of SBS operations behind the enemy lines and amphibious operations including the famous ‘Pooneryn Operation’ in 1993.

Admiral Wijegunaratne also held many key appointments during his unblemished naval career of 37 years, which included those of Commandant Naval and Maritime Academy, Flag Officer Commanding Naval Fleet, First Secretary and Defence Adviser of the Sri Lanka High Commission in New Delhi- India, Director Naval Operations, Special Forces, and Maritime Surveillance, Commander Southern, Western, Northern, and Eastern Naval Areas, Director General of the Sri Lanka Coast Guard and Chief of Staff. He took over the command of the Sri Lanka Navy on 11th July 2015.