- Post 23 February 2017
- By Athula Vithanage
Continuing the practice of handing over diplomatic posts to former military top brass who had command responsibility during the last phase of Sri Lanka’s bloody civil war, a retired army commander had been once again posted to head a Sri Lankan mission in South America.
General Jagath Jayasuriya who was serving as the ambassador in Brazil presented his credentials to Juan Manuel Santos Calderón, President of Colombia at the president´s palace in Bogota on 16th February.
Largest military command
Since 2007 to the military defeat of the Tamil rebels, Jayasuriya was commanding the security forces headquarters in war torn Wanni (SFHQ -W).
He was the man who oversaw the largest Sri Lankan military command stationed in Tamil majority north until the military conclusion of the conflict.
During the final stages of the military offensive, which claimed over 70,000 civilian lives mainly attributed to indiscriminate firepower of the government troops, 5 divisions and 3 task forces were under his command. He coordinated and supervised at least five main battles including the final ground assault to regain the last rebel held enclave in the North, which the United Nations described as a "bloodbath".
The infamous Joseph Camp described by many war victims as a torture site was under his command responsibility.
At the official end of the war in 2009 Major General Jayasuriya was appointed as the commander of the Sri Lanka army by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa.
He was later promoted to the rank of General and appointed to the post of chief of defence staff in 2013.
After his retirement in 2015 General Jayasuriya was appointed as Sri Lankan ambassador to Brazil by President Maithripala Sirisena.
General Jagath Jayasuriya graduated from the Defence Services Staff College of India (1989), Naval Postgraduate School, USA (2004) and National Defence University of China (2006-2007).