Dec 28, 2016

Office of the chief of defence staff to be closed down? Featured

The government is considering retiring chief of defence staff Air Chief Marshal Kolitha Gunatilake from active military service and closing down the CDF office on January 31, according to reports reaching 'Sri Lanka Mirror'.

President Maithripala Sirisena appointed Gunatilake as the CDS on 15 June 2015.

The CDS should hold the position for a two year period, subjected to the consent of the president, and is eligible for a second term.

With the end of the war, the CDF act of 2009 was passed in parliament and the office of the CDF established with the intention of removing the then Army commander Sarath Fonseka from the position.

The act gave unprecedented powers and responsibilities to coordinate between the three armed forces and the defence ministry, and Fonseka was appointed to the position.

However, the president has received a suggestion that there was no need any longer to maintain such an office. 

When contacted, defence secretary Karunasena Hettiarachchi confirmed having received a proposal to close down the CDS office, but said the president was yet to take a decision.