May 14, 2017

Diplomatic posting for Kolitha Goonetilake? Featured

Air Chief Marshal Kolitha Goonetilake is to be given a diplomatic posting, instead of a service extension as the chief-of-defence-staff, president’s office sources say.

When he retires on June 15, he will be succeeded by Lt. Gen. Krishantha de Silva, the present Army commander.

However, de Silva has told his friends that he preferred to remain as the Army chief, and sought their assistance to obtain a diplomatic posting once he completes his second extension on August 21.

Major generals Mahesh Senanayake and Boniface Perera are presently involved in a cold war to become the next head of the Army.

Reforms to defence establishments

Meanwhile, a spokesman for the president’s office told Sri Lanka Mirror that president Maithripala Sirisena was expected to introduce reforms to the defence establishments, with changes likely in the top positions in the three armed forces.

As the first step, he will retire his close friend, Karunasena Hettiarachchi from the defence secretary position and appoint him as the ambassador to Germany.

Furthermore, Navy chief Vice Admiral Ravi Wijegunaratne will not be given a service extension after the present one ends on August 22.

In line to succeed him are rear admirals Travis Sinnaiah and Piyal de Silva.

The president is yet to take a decision on the position of the Air Force commander, the spokesman added.