Lieutenant General Daya Ratnayake assumed office as the 20th Commander of the Sri Lanka Army today. He replaced General Jagath Jayasuriya who was appointed as the new Chief of Defence Staff.
Ratnayake was enlisted to the Regular Force of the Sri Lanka Army on 06 February 1980 as an Officer Cadet and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant on 18 July 1981 in the Sri Lanka Light Infantry (SLLI) Regiment.
Upon commissioning, he followed the Commando Officers Course, Infantry Young Officers Course, Battalion Support Weapon Course, Junior Command and Senior Command Courses in India, Governance and Management of Defence Course at Cranfield University, UK, Higher Level Security Studies Diploma Course and Advanced Communication Skills Course in Asia-Pacific Centre for Security Studies in Honolulu, Hawaii, USA. He also graduated from Defence Service Command and Staff College, Bangladesh, National Defence University, China and Army Intelligence School, Fort Hnachuca, Arizona, USA.
Throughout the span of his career of more than 33 years, he has taken part in many seminars, conferences, workshops and invited assignments. Lieutenant General Ratnayake outshines as one of the few Officers of the Sri Lankan Armed Forces to have completed so many local and overseas graduate study courses and diplomas. Currently, he is reading for a PhD at Kotelawala Defence University.
With wide experience and service, Lieutenant General Daya Ratnayake has held many command appointments to suit his rank and was privileged to command an Infantry Battalion and three Infantry Brigades, prior to being appointed as the General Officer Commanding (GOC) of the 23 Infantry Division which pioneered the humanitarian operations in the East.
Upon conclusion of humanitarian operations, he was called upon to rehabilitate 12,000 ex-combatants, where he was appointed as the Commissioner General Rehabilitation. With transformation of the Army from warfare to peacetime roles, he using his capacity of judgement, and sense of humaneness rendered an indelible service for the field of rehabilitation, in his capacity as the Commissioner General Rehabilitation.
In addition, he has also held a variety of key staff, instructor and administrative appointments, including Commanding Officer of the Sri Lanka Military Academy, Director Media of the Sri Lanka Army and Military Spokesman for the Ministry of Defence during 2004 – September 2005.