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CHIEF OF DEFENCE STAFF

GENERAL SHAVENDRA SILVA WWV RWP RSP VSV USP ndc psc MPhil

CHIEF OF DEFENCE STAFF

SRI LANKA

General LHSC Silva WWV RWP RSP VSV USP ndc psc MPhil, more popularly known as General Shavendra Silva was appointed as the 8th Chief of Defence Staff of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka effective from 01 June 2022.

General Shavendra Silva has completed over 39 years of unblemished, distinguished, and victorious service in the Sri Lanka Army and served as the Acting Chief of Defence Staff and 23rd Commander of the Sri Lanka Army; the four-star General to command 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 the two elite regiments of the Sri Lanka Army; Special Forces 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 as the most successful Divisional Commander by commanding the victorious 58 Division along with the Commando Brigade which recorded the highest number of successful achievements during the Wanni Humanitarian Operation which culminated the three-decade civil war and brought peace to Sri Lanka in year 2009. In the aftermath of the war in 2009, he reached a landmark achievement in 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 the 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 and served till the end of the year 2014, being the only serving military officer in Sri Lanka’s history to be promoted to “Ambassadorial” rank by the Foreign Service. He became the first military officer to be appointed while on active service 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 Nations 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, Netherlands Defence College, National Defence College in India, and Defence Services Command and Staff College in Sri Lanka. Broadening his arc of expertise, General Shavendra Silva is also a recipient of a Master of Philosophy (MPhil) Degree from the University of Madras, India.

General Shavendra Silva claims the pride of receiving the highest number of gallantry awards that are conferred to the military personnel in the Armed Forces history for the valour and bravery displayed in the face of the enemy. 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 be the first and the only officer in the rank of Second Lieutenant or equivalent from the Sri Lankan tri-services to receive three different types of gallantry medals at a single awarding. He has also been conferred with Vishishta Seva Vibhushanaya (VSV) and Uththama Seva Padakkama (USP) for his distinguished service and unblemished military career records in the Army.

In appreciation of his true devotion to ensuring 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 hometown, Matale. Recognising his noble service and sacrifices made towards the country, race, and religion for decades, he was conferred with the Buddhist Honourary Title “Mahamannya Prathapadhikeshwara”; the highest Buddhist accolade that is bestowed to any lay personality by the Asgiriya Chapter of Siyam Nikaya in the year 2022.

To his credit, he has authored a book titled “Sri Lankan Identity since 2600 Years”, to mark the 2600th Anniversary of the Lord Buddha‟s enlightenment.

General Shavendra Silva is the Deputy National Security Advisor of Sri Lanka since 2019 to date. He is also the Chairman of the National Sports Selection Committee (NSSC) since 2019 and is responsible for the selection of members for the advancement of all sports disciplines. He was also a member of the National Sports Council appointed by the Ministry of Youth and Sports. General Shavendra Silva also was appointed as a member of the Executive Committee for the Government of Sri Lanka’s Projects Supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) from the beginning of the year 2024. He held the appointment as the Head of the National Operation Centre for Prevention of COVID-19 Outbreak (NOCPCO) appointed by the seventh executive President of Sri Lanka on 16 March 2020 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 greener Sri Lanka.