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The Sri Lanka Engineers (SLE) a combat support arm of the Sri Lanka Army which provides military engineering. It is made up of ten Regular Regiments and one Volunteer Regiments. Headquartered at Army Cantonment, Panagoda. It is headed by the Centre Commandant

Sri Lanka Engineers
Active1911 - Present
CountrySri Lanka
BranchSri Lanka Army
TypeEngineering Regiment
RoleMilitary engineering,
Combat engineering
Size10 regular regiments,
1 volunteer regiment
Part ofHQ Chief Field Engineer, Engineer Brigade
Regimental CentreArmy Headquarters, Colombo.
Motto(s)"Ubique" Latin - (Everywhere)
EngagementsWorld War I
World War II
1971 Insurrection
Insurrection 1987-89
Sri Lankan Civil War
Decorations1 Weerodara Vibhushanaya,
2 Weera Wickrama Vibhushanaya
Centre CommandantBrig HAJS Gunawardena RWP RSP psc
Colonel-CommandantMaj Gen AWJC De Silva RWP USP ndc psc
General Denis Perera VSV

The Corps provides combat engineering, construction and other technical support to the Sri Lankan Army and civil authorities. One of the objectives of the corps is mobility and counter mobility. That is providing mobility to friendly forces while denying movement to enemy forces. Engineers are able to conduct tasks including penetrating minefields, locating and disarming booby traps, purifying water and building roads and bridges to maintain lines of communications.



SLE Demining Unit on Victory Day Parade
SLE Military Bulldozer
SLE Demining Unit on Victory Day Parade

Formation and World WarsEdit

The Ceylon Engineers was formed in 1911 as part of the Ceylon Defence Force, following the transfer of Royal Engineers units from Ceylon. Duties of this unit was to the coastal search light and signal works. The unit was made up only of Europeans at its inception, mostly from volunteers transferred from the Ceylon Planters Rifle Corps. Its first commanding officer was Captain T. H. Chapman who held the post of Director of Public Works in government service. Ceylon Engineers were mobilized during World War I and demobilized at its conclusion. At this point the Commander of the Ceylon Defence Force and in consultation with the GOC Ceylon recommended that the members of the Burgher community who were enlisted to the Colombo Town Guard be invited to replace the Ceylon Engineers which was to be disbanded by 31 December 1926. This proposal was accepted and the reconstituted Ceylon Engineer Corps was raised on 1 January 1927. Personnel for the reconstituted unit were individually re-enlisted and a strength of 11 officers and 144 Other Ranks was recorded. This attracted the attention of two prominent members of the Legislative Council, D. S. Senanayake and E. W. Perera raised the question as to why there should be racial military units in the Island. In 1928 the Committee set up by the Governor of Ceylon to inquire into this question, proposed in their report that the Ceylon Engineer Corps shall comprise British subjects of good character and respectability. From then onwards, the Ceylon Engineer Corps was open to all Ceylonese. The Corps was to comprise two Companies of Field Engineers ( for combat engineering), two Companies of Fortress Engineers (to man defence lights and engine) and one Company of Signalers. In 1939 the Corps was mobilized for World War II and in 1943 a second signal company was and these formed Ceylon Signals Corps.

Post IndependenceEdit

With the establishment of the Ceylon Army after independence, 1st Field Squadron was formed in 1951 under the command of Major (later Brigadier) Douglas Ramanayake. This became the core of a new Ceylon Engineers which was formed in 1957, with the regimental headquarters permanently located at the Panagoda Cantonment. A military engineering unit was set up in May 1958 at Konduwattuan Camp in Ampara, this school was moved several times before been located at Thunkama in Embilipitiya where it is today. In 1959 1st Field Engineer Squadron became the 1st Field Engineer Regiment. The Volunteer counterpart of the ‘Sappers', the 4th Development and Construction Engineers Regiment was raised in 1964, replacing 2nd (V) Field/Plant Regiment, which was disbanded in 1962 after the attempted military coup that year which involved some of its officers.

In the resent years Corps of Sri Lanka Engineers have been deployed in many parts of the country in support of military operations against terrorists. Since its conception in 1951 the Engineering corps has taken part in many development projects carried out in Sri Lanka by the government and has assisted during natural disasters.


Sri Lanka Army MT-55A Armored Vehicle-launched Bridge pulled by Tatra T815 Truck
Sri Lanka Engineers Demining Unit
  • 1st Field Engineer Regiment [1]
  • 5th Field Engineer Regiment SLE
  • 6th Field Engineer Regiment SLE
  • 7th Field Engineer Regiment SLE
  • 8th Field Engineer Regiment SLE
  • 9th Field Engineer Regiment SLE
  • 10th Field Engineer Regiment SLE
  • 11th Field Engineer Regiment SLE
  • 12th Field Engineer Regiment SLE
  • 14th Independent Engineer Regiment SLE
  • Sri Lanka School of Military Engineering[2]
  • Independent Workshop SLE
  • Explosive Ordnance Disposal Squadron

Volunteer RegimentsEdit

  • 4th(v) Engineer Regiment SLE


Notable membersEdit


Order of precedenceEdit

See alsoEdit


External links and sourcesEdit