GENERAL L H S C SILVA WWV RWP RSP VSV USP ndc psc MPhil
CHIEF OF DEFENCE STAFF
General LHSC Silva WWV RWP RSP VSV USP ndc psc MPhil, more popularly known as General Shavendra Silva was appointed as the 8 th Chief of Defence Staff by His Excellency the President Gotabaya Rajapaksa with effective from 01 June 2022.
General Shavendra Silva has completed over 38 years of unblemished, distinguished and victorious service in the Sri Lanka Army and was serving as the Acting Chief of Defence Staff and the 23 rd Commander of the Sri Lanka Army prior to taking up the office as the Chief of Defence Staff.
He has had an illustrious career from the rank of Second Lieutenant to General and steadily elevated in the chain of command, covering all the salient appointments in the domains of staff, instructional,command and diplomatic. Key appointments he held during his career included Chief of Staff of the Sri Lanka Army, Colonel of the Regiment for Gajaba Regiment and Commando Regiment, Adjutant General and Director General Operations of the Army Headquarters.
General Shavendra Silva is a battle-hardened Infantry Officer who possesses a legacy in commanding the victorious 58 Division along with the Commando Brigade which recorded the highest number of successful achievements during the Wanni Humanitarian Operation. In the aftermath of the war in 2009, he reached a landmark achievement in the history and was fortunate to be the youngest ever to be promoted to the rank of Major General in the Sri Lanka Army. Subsequently, he commanded the 53 Division, also known as country’s Reserve Strike Force (RSF).
In 2010, General Shavendra Silva was appointed as the Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations in New York, being the only serving military officer in Sri Lanka’s history to be promoted to an ‘Ambassadorial’ rank by the Foreign Service. He became the first Sri Lankan to be appointed to the United Nations High-Level Advisory Panel on Peacekeeping Missions. Further, he was appointed as the Alternate Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nation’s Special Political and Decolonization Committee which dealt with global territorial disputes as well as peacekeeping matters.
Apart from local training, he has also followed many training courses in diverse fields within and away from the region, and he is a proud alumnus of the renowned Harvard University in the USA, National Defence College in India and Defence Services Command and Staff College in Sri Lanka.
For his bravery in the battlefield, he was awarded the gallantry medals of Weera Wickrama Vibushanaya (WWV), Rana Wickrama Padakkama (RWP), and Rana Soora Padakkama (RSP), making him to be the first Second Lieutenant of the Sri Lanka Army to receive three different types of gallantry medals at once. He has also been conferred with Vishishta Seva Vibhushanaya (VSV) and Uththama Seva Padakkama (USP) for his distinguished service and unblemished military career in the Army.
In appreciation of his true devotion to ensure unity, sovereignty and the territorial integrity of the motherland, General Shavendra Silva was awarded the “Sri Lankeshwara Aparadha Meheyum Visharadha Jothikadhaja Veeraprathapa Deshamanya Jathika Gourawanama Sammana Upadhi Sannas Pathraya”, the “Weera Gajendra Sangramashuri Jathika Gourawanama Sannas Pathraya” and the “Weera Wickrama Deshabhimani Vishwa Keerthi Sri Ranashura” (the most prestigious awards that a lay-person could receive) by the tri-sects of the Sri Lankan Buddhist Order. In 2019, he was honoured with the 'Vishwakeerthi Sri Mahathala Weera Puthra' honorary title by people in his home town, Matale.
To his credit, he has authored a book titled “Sri Lankan Identity Since 2600 Years”, to mark the 2600 th Anniversary of the Lord Buddha’s enlightenment.
General Shavendra Silva is the Chairman of the National Sports Selection Committee (NSSC) and a member of National Sports Council appointed by the Ministry of Youth and Sports. He was also appointed as the Head of National Operation Centre for Prevention of COVID-19 Outbreak (NOCPCO) on 16 March 2020 by His Excellency Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the President of Sri lanka to spearhead the drive against COVID-19 with health authorities. In addition, he was entrusted as the Head of Green Agricultural Operations Centre which is aimed to foster a national effort to build a green Sri Lanka.