GENERAL JAGATH JAYASURIYA VSV USP ndu psc
General Jagath Jayasuriya is the 19th Commander of the Army. He assumed office on 15th July 2009, months after the war against terrorism was brought to completion.
General Jagath Jayasuriya had been the Commander, Security Forces Wanni since August 2007 until he took over the mantle of the Army as the Commander. To his credit, General Jagath Jayasuriya was actively engaged in the overall military planning and operations in the Wanni until the war came to an end.
As a brilliant product of Royal College, Colombo, he completed his higher studies in the science stream and excelled in different spheres. He particularly showed his prowess in the field of sports and athletics and brought fame to his alma-mater, both at national and international levels. His extraordinary talent in Boxing made him Captain of the school team. He was awarded boxing colours in 1974, 1976 and 1977 respectively and became one of the best athletes in the school. His contribution to the field of cricket, basketball and hockey also won laurels for his school. To this date, he has been an international referee/judge in Boxing. In recognition of his sterling qualities, including leadership, integrity, dependability, honesty and straightforwardness, he was appointed to the coveted post of college prefect in June 1977.
In 1978 his future career planning took roots when he joined the Sri Lanka Army as a Cadet Officer. He passed out first in order of merit of the Intake-10 and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant on 23rd January 1980. Subsequently he rose to the ranks of Lieutenant (1981), Captain (1984), Major (1988), Lieutenant Colonel (1993), Colonel (2001), Brigadier (2001) Major General (December 2005) and Lieutenant General (2009) respectively.
Young Officers Course at School of Armour, Pakistan (1980), Radio Instructor Course at Armoured Corps Centre and School, India (1982), Senior Tactics Course, SLMA and ATS (1987), Mid Career Course, School of Armour, Pakistan (1988), Defence Services Staff College Course in India (1989), Master of Science Degree in Defence Studies, University of Madras, India (1990), International Defence Management Course, USA (2004) and National Defence University Course in China (2006-2007) were among many military career disciplines he has hitherto followed.
In his illustrious career spanning over thirty years, he has held a number of various operational and staff appointments.
Upon completion of the military training at Diyatalawa Sri Lanka Military Academy, he served as Troop Leader 1st Reconnaissance Regiment (1980-1983) and as Adjutant (1984-1985) which he later commanded. He was then appointed in August 1985 as Staff Officer Grade 111 in the Directorate of Personnel Administration, Army Headquarters. In October 1987, he was appointed the Squadron Commander, 1st Reconnaissance Regiment, Sri Lanka Armoured Corps, Second in Command, 3rd Reconnaissance Regiment, Sri Lanka Armoured Corps (1992) and later on the Commanding Officer, 1st Reconnaissance Regiment, Sri Lanka Armoured Corps (May 1994-June 1995). After his academic stint abroad at the Defence Services Staff College in India, he returned in June 1990 to receive the Brigade Major, 9 Brigade appointment in Jaffna. During January 1991-July 1992, he served as Chief Instructor at Officers Study Centre and Staff Officer II (Training), Army Training Centre. Later on, he served in the capacity of Staff Officer Grade 1, Armoured Brigade until May 1994. During July 1995-May 1996, he was the General Staff Officer 1 at the Joint Operations Headquarters (JOH), serving all three services and the Police. He served as Colonel Military Secretary Army Headquarters in the period between June 1996-August 1997. General Jayasuriya for two separate brief stints served as Commander, Armoured Brigade (September-December 1997) and Commander, 563 Infantry Brigade (January-April 1998) respectively. During July 1998-June 2002, he was the Military Liaison Officer at Ministry of Defence where he was entrusted the task of coordinating all military matters with all three services and the Police.
His appointment as Commandant, Sri Lanka Military Academy (SLMA) in July 2002 enabled him to promote the image of the SLMA further and execute changes to the curricula, attracting more and more foreign students. In September 2004, he flew to Defence Resource Management Institute, Naval Post Graduate School, California, USA to follow a military course. In December 2004, he was appointed Director of Operations at Army Headquarters. In the midst of worsening terrorist scenario, he was made General Officer Commanding in 52 Division where he served until he was chosen to follow the one-year long National Defence University Course in China. He was afterwards made Commander, Security Forces Wanni in August 2007, an appointment he has held until he was appointed as Commander of the Army by His Excellency, the President Mahinda Rajapaksa.
General Jayasuriya is a recipient of several awards and military decorations, including Vishishta Seva Vibhushanaya (VSV), Uttama Seva Padakkama (USP), Army 50th anniversary medal, Long Service Medal and Clasp, 50th Independence Medal, Desha Puthra Sammanaya, North and East Operations Medal, Poorna Bhoomi Padakkama, Riviresa Campaign Service Medal and a few more.
He sustained serious injuries during the Operation "Jayasikuru" in 1998. He is married to Manjulika Aruna and has two children, Sanjaya (27) and Deshani (20).