Apr 09, 2017

Army chief seeks a record third service extension Featured

Army commander Lt. Gen. Krishantha de Silva has sought an extension for the third time, say sources at the president’s office.

His present term ends on 21 August this year.

De Silva was due to retire, upon reaching 55 years of age, on 21 August 2015.

He was first given an extension on 22 February that year, and again on 22 August 2016.

If he gets another six months, he will be the first Army officer to receive three extensions.

On the other hand, it will dash hopes of several senior major generals to become the commander of the Army.

They include the most senior officer Boniface Perera, who retires on 03 December, followed by Sudantha Ranasinghe, Renaka Udawatte, R. Ratnasingham and P. Mihindukulasuriya in that order.

They will be followed by Amal Karunasena, former Army intelligence chief and presently the Wanni commander, who retires on 13 March 2018.

Mahesh Senanayake, who was tipped to succeed de Silva, retires on 18 August this year.

During de Silva’s second term, 22 major generals will retire from service.

Chief of defence staff

Meanwhile, the three service commanders are eyeing the position of the chief of defence staff, as the incumbent Air Chief Marshal Kolitha Gunatilake retires on 16 July this year.

Senanayake will have a chance if de Silva is appointed to that position.