Chief of the Defence Staff (Sri Lanka)
The Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS) is the most senior appointment in the Sri Lankan Armed Forces, and the highest-ranking military officer in service, outranking the heads of each service branch. The CDS does not, however, have operational command authority over service branches, but rather oversees inter-service co-operation and develops and implements the joint operations doctrine of the Sri Lankan armed forces. Coordination of inter-service joint operations are handled by the Office of the Chief of Defence Staff formally known as the Joint Operations Headquarters.
|Chief of the Defence Staff|
|Military of Sri Lanka|
|Member of||National Security Council|
|Reports to||President of Sri Lanka|
Minister of Defence
|Seat||Office of the Chief of Defence Staff, Block No. 5, BMICH, Bauddhaloka mawatha, Colombo 7|
Upon nomination by the National Security Council
|Term length||Not fixed|
|Constituting instrument||Chief of Defence Staff Act, No. 35 of 2009|
|Formation||11 February 1985|
as General Officer Commanding, Joint Operations Command
|First holder||General Tissa Weeratunga (as GOC-JOC)|
The post could be traced back to post of General Officer Commanding (GOC) of the Joint Operations Command when General T. I. Weerathunga was first appointed to it on November 2, 1985. The Joint Operations Command was created in 1985 due to a need to co-ordinate of joint operations among the tri-services and the police with the escalation of the Sri Lankan Civil War. The post itself was created in 1999 replacing the civilian post of chief of the Joint Operations Bureau which had existed briefly in 1999. Its powers expanded under the Chief of Defence Staff Act No. 35 of 2009.
In recent years, the Chief of the Defence Staff was appointed to the highest rank in the branch of the Sri Lankan armed forces to which he belonged (equivalent to a US "four-star" rank) being a General, an Admiral or an Air Chief Marshal. According to the new Bill, the President of Sri Lanka appoints to the post of Chief of Defence Staff any person presently serving as Commander of the Army, Navy or the Air Force, to function under the direction, supervision and control of the Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Defence.
- Assist in providing for the strategic direction of the armed forces
- Development of doctrine for the joint employment of the armed forces
- Facilitation of preparation of strategic plans for the armed forces
- Co-ordination of matters relating to intelligence as between the armed forces;
- To undertake assessments to determine the capabilities of the armed forces in comparison with those of their potential
- Preparation of operational plans for the armed forces
Supporting and associated posts
The CDS is assisted by a Chief of Staff (two star rank) and four Director Generals (Operations and systems, Training, Naval and Air Operations, Coordination) making up the Office of the Chief of Defence Staff. In addition, the CDS as a personal staff consisting of the Secretary to the CDS, two Aide-de-camps, and Principal Staff Officers.
General Officer Commanding, Joint Operations Command (1985-1999)
Chief of the Defence Staff (1999–present)
|No.||Picture||Chief of Defence||Took office||Left office||Time in office||Defence branch|
|4 January 1999||9 October 2003||4 years, 278 days|
|10 October 2003||1 September 2005||2 years, 63 days|
|1 September 2005||12 June 2006||274 days|
|4||Air Chief Marshal|
|12 June 2006||15 July 2009||3 years, 33 days|
|15 July 2009||16 November 2009||124 days|
|6||Air Chief Marshal|
Roshan Goonetileke RWP & bar, VSV, USP
|16 November 2009||1 August 2013||3 years, 197 days|
|1 August 2013||15 June 2015||1 year, 318 days|
|8||Air Chief Marshal|
|16 June 2015||28 June 2017||2 years, 12 days|
Crishantha de Silva
|29 June 2017||22 August 2017||54 days|
Ravindra Wijegunaratne WV, RWP & bar, RSP, VSV, USP, NI(M), ndc, psn
|22 August 2017||Incumbent||2 years, 103 days|
- "Vice Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne appointed new Chief of Defence Staff". Daily News Sri Lanka. Daily News Sri Lanka. Retrieved 18 August 2017.
- "President appoints new Chief of Defence Staff". news.lk. Retrieved 27 October 2017.