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|
|Sri Lanka Armed Forces|
|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)|
General Shavendra Silva, the Army Commander is serving as the acting Chief of Defence Staff. The CDS is the Chairman of a Committee made up of service commanders and is a member of the National Security Council.
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 British "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 postsEdit
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 has a personal staff consisting of the secretary to the CDS, two aides-de-camp, and principal staff officers.
General officer commanding, Joint Operations Command (1985–1999)Edit
Chief of the Defence Staff (1999–present)Edit
Ranks and honours are as at the completion of their tenure:
|No.||Picture||Chief of Defence||Took office||Left office||Time in office||Defence branch||Ref.|
|4 January 1999||9 October 2003||4 years, 278 days||Sri Lanka Army||–|
|10 October 2003||1 September 2005||2 years, 63 days||Sri Lanka Army||–|
|1 September 2005||12 June 2006||274 days||Sri Lanka Navy||–|
|4||Air Chief Marshal|
|12 June 2006||15 July 2009||3 years, 33 days||Sri Lanka Air Force||–|
|15 July 2009||16 November 2009||124 days||Sri Lanka Army||–|
|6||Air Chief Marshal|
|16 November 2009||1 August 2013||3 years, 197 days||Sri Lanka Air Force||–|
|1 August 2013||15 June 2015||1 year, 318 days||Sri Lanka Army||–|
|8||Air Chief Marshal|
|16 June 2015||28 June 2017||2 years, 12 days||Sri Lanka Air Force||–|
Crishantha de Silva
|29 June 2017||22 August 2017||54 days||Sri Lanka Army||–|
|22 August 2017||31 December 2019||2 years, 131 days||Sri Lanka Navy||–|
|1 January 2020||Incumbent||2 years, 16 days||Sri Lanka Army||–|
- Sri Lanka Army (31 December 2019). "Incumbent Army Chief to Serve as Acting Chief of Defence Staff". army.lk. Retrieved 1 January 2020.