Major General Milinda Peiris, the Vice Chancellor at the General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University (KDU), has been appointed as the new Chief of Staff (COS) of the Sri Lanka Army effective from 12 February 2016.
Major General Milinda Peiris who has a distinguished career in the Army for 35 years is attached to the Sri Lanka Armoured Corps (SLAC). He is the 47th Chief of Staff of the Sri Lanka Army, the second highest appointment in the organization.
Major General Milinda Peiris joined the Sri Lanka Army as an Officer Cadet in 1980 and had his basic training at the Officers Training School in Madras, India. He was commissioned into the 1st Reconnaissance Regiment Sri Lanka Armoured Corps as a 2nd Lieutenant on completion of his training. He has held vital and important appointments in the Army commensurate with each rank. He is a graduate of National Defence College, New Delhi, Command and Staff College, Bangladesh and Armour School, Fort Knox, Kentucky, USA. He has had higher military training in both India and Pakistan. He was the chief of a technical military delegation to Ukraine and was a member of technical military delegations to Russia, Ukraine and Czech Republic.
Major General Milinda was the Military Assistant at the Army Commander’s Secretariat and also the Grade 1 Staff Officer at the Military Secretary’s Branch. He commanded the 5th Regiment of the Sri Lanka Armoured Corps with distinction. He was also the Commanding Officer of the Officer Cadet Wing at the Sri Lanka Military Academy. Subsequently, he commanded the 561 Infantry Brigade and the 232 Infantry Brigade while serving as the Coordinating Officer for the respective areas of responsibility, i.e. Omanthai and Valachchainai in the Northern and Eastern Provinces of Sri Lanka. Thereafter, he commanded the Armoured Brigade and also worked as the Director Armour at the Army Headquarters. Then he served as the Director Operations at the Joint Operations Headquarters prior to being appointed as the Defence, Military, Naval and Air Attaché for Sri Lanka in the USA. Major General Milinda Peiris commanded the 22 Division in Trincomalee as the General Officer Commanding during operations that liberated the East – The role and task of GOC of 22 Division was highly complicated due to the presence of multi religious and multi ethnic communities in the region. However, Major General Milinda Peiris performed his duties with distinction by apprehending this dynamic complexity. On completion of the prestigious advance military studies at the National Defence College in India, he was appointed as the Vice Chancellor of General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University. Subsequently he was appointed as the Director General of the Centre for Research and Development, Ministry of Defence (MOD) and he was also appointed as the Military Secretary to the Commander of the Army.
In addition to the Vice Chancellor’s portfolio, Major General Milinda Peiris has been appointed as a member of the National Education Commission of Sri Lanka, the Standing Committee on Quality Assurance and Accreditation Council of University Grants Commission, Sri Lanka, the Council of University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka, the Board of Management of the Lakshman Kadiragamar Institute for International Relations and Strategic Studies (LKIIRSS), and in the Board of Management of Defence Services Command & Staff College. He also serves as the Chairman of Sir John Kotelawala Memorial Trust. Further, Major General Milinda Peiris is the present Colonel Commandant of the Sri Lanka Armoured Corps, and prior to this appointment he served as the Colonel of the Regiment of the Mechanized Infantry Regiment for four years.
Major General Milinda Peiris was recently conferred with the “award for Outstanding Contribution to Education” by the World Chancellors and Vice Chancellors Congress in recognition of “the strategic and iconic position occupied by him in the fraternity of Vice Chancellors as an agent of change in global education”.
Major General Milinda Peiris holds a Masters degree in Philosophy (MPhil) awarded by the University of Madras, Postgraduate Diploma in Management from the Open University (OUSL) of Sri Lanka and a Diploma in Senior Level Defence Management from University of Indore, India.
He is a recipient of Rana Wickrama Padakkama (RWP) and Rana Sura Padakkama (RSP) awarded for conspicuous gallantry in battle. He is also a recipient of the Uttama Seva Padakkama (USP) for his unblemished military career in the Army and the Legion of Merit (LOM) which is a military decoration of the United States Armed Forces awarded for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services and achievements. (Colombo Gazette)