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Hamilton Wanasinghe

Hamilton Wanasinghe
Born Malwana, Gampaha District, Western Province, British Ceylon
Allegiance Sri Lanka
Service/branch Sri Lanka Army
Years of service 1954-1995
Rank General
Unit Sri Lanka Artillery
Commands held Commander of the Sri Lankan Army General Officer Commanding - Joint Operations Command and Secretary Defence
Battles/wars Operation BalawegayaOperation , Liberation of East ( Elam War 11)

General Hamilton Wanasinghe VSV, SLA was the 11th Commander of the Sri Lankan Army. He was appointed in 16 August 1988 until 15 November 1991. He was succeeded by Cecil Waidyaratne.[1][2]


  • Early life 1
  • Military career 2
  • See also 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5

Early life

Hamilton Wanasinghe was born in Malwana, a suburb in the capital city of Colombo. He received his primary and secondary education at Ananda College.[3] A keen sportsman, he was the Sergeant Major in the Cadet Platoon during his school days.[4] He was also an active member of the College rifle shooting team, which won many coveted trophies and then later, he joined the army. Wanasinghe also represented Ceylon Inter Dominion small bore rifle shooting competition.

Military career

He joined Ceylon Army as an officer cadet in 1954 and was sent to the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst[5] for basic training. Later he was commissioned as an officer in the Ceylon Artillery as a Second Lieutenant. Prior to being appointed as the Army Commander, he has held various portfolios in the Army’s hierarchical order and in 1988 he became the 11th commander of the Sri Lanka Army. After his retirement he also held several key positions including Joint Operations Commander and the Secretary of Defence Sri Lanka from which position he retired in 1995.[6][7] General Hamilton Wanasinghe was the first Sri Lankan Army officer promoted to the rank of four star General on 16th November 1991 while in service and was appointed as the General Officer Commanding - Joint Operations Command . He was appointed as the Secretary Defence on 06th of June 1993 and retired in February 1995.

He commanded Sri Lanka Army during 2nd JVP insurrection (1988-89) and while IPKF was present in Sri Lanka . He commanded Sri Lanka Army during Elam War 11 and was instrumental in liberating Eastern Province and Govt conducted elections thereafter .

Indian Defence Review in 1991 reported that "Army Commander Lt Gen Hamilton Wanasinghe visited the battlefield frequently and narrowly escaped being killed. " Lt.General Hamilton Wanasinghe as the Commander of the Army risked his own life and was present at Elephant Pass rescue operation Balawegaya  along with Late Maj.General Denzil Kobbekaduwa and Task Force Commander Late  Brigadier Vijaya Wimalaratne. Operation Balawegaya was launched in June 1991 with assistance of Sri Lanka Navy with an amphibious landing at Vetterlerkani which LTTE leader called it "Mother of All Battles". Victorious Sri Lanka Army troops broke the LTEE siege at EPS.  

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^
8. Stolen stripes and broken medals by Muhammed Anver
  • Indian Defence Review -1991
  • Asiaweek - Volume 17, Issues 27-51 - Page lxxix

External links

  • Prabhakaran’s Tigers and Mandela’s Spears
  • The Sandhurst Collection
Military offices
Preceded by
Nalin Seneviratne
Commander of the Sri Lankan Army
Succeeded by
Cecil Waidyaratne
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