General Gerard Hector de Silva (Retired) RWP VSV USP ndc was appointed as the 5th Chancellor of General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University by His Excellency the President Gotabaya Rajapaksa with effect from 20th January 2020.
Having joined the Sri Lanka Army in May 1960 as an Officer Cadet, General de Silva reached the zenith of his military career to become the 13th Commander of the Sri Lanka Army on 01st January 1994.
General de Silva is an old boy of St Joseph’s College, Colombo, and he had been an outstanding sportsman representing the college in Cricket and Swimming. Trained at prestigious Royal Military Academy Sand Hurst, he was commissioned into the Ceylon Sinha Regiment on 03rd August 1962 and was subsequently transferred to the 1st Battalion Gemunu Watch.
General de Silva has followed a Junior Command Course in Pakistan and a Senior Command Course in India, and he has served in many important appointments such as Commander Northern Command, Commander Security Forces Jaffna, Regimental Commander Gemunu Watch, Principal Staff Officer JOC, General Officer Command 3 Division and 2 Division, Commander Sri Lanka Volunteer Force and the Chief of Staff of the Army before becoming the Commander of the Army. He retired from the Sri Lanka Army on 30th April 1996.
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 and at Sri Lanka Military Academy, Diyatalawa. He was commissioned into the 1st Reconnaissance Regiment Sri Lanka Armoured Corps as a 2nd Lieutenant on completion of his training. Since then, he held vital and important appointments in the Army commensurate with each rank held, and he reached the pinnacle of his military career in 2016 when he was appointed as the Chief of Staff of the Sri Lanka Army. Major General Milinda Peiris is a graduate of National Defence College, New Delhi, Command and Staff College, Bangladesh and Armour School, Fort Knox, Kentucky, USA.
As a pioneer squadron commander of 4 Armoured Regiment, he led tank squadrons to many crucial battles, and 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 232 Infantry Brigade. Thereafter, he commanded the Armoured Brigade. He was the Director Operations at the Joint Operations Headquarters and had been 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 the period of liberation of the East by the Security Forces. On return from National Defence College in India, he was appointed as the Vice Chancellor of General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University (KDU) on 28 December 2008. Under his patronage, the university expanded to be a fully-fledged university consisting of nine academic faculties, and he was instrumental in developing KDU to lead in the world of tertiary education, lighting the torch of wisdom in thousands of students both local and foreign.
Especially, during his tenure as the Vice Chancellor, he took an untiring effort to establish the Medical Faculty of KDU, which became nationally and internationally known for its unique ability to produce military medical graduates of the highest caliber to fulfill the healthcare requirements of the tri-services, state sector and society at large.
Further, he introduced the University Hospital concept for Sri Lanka by providing a tertiary care hospital for KDU and accomplished mammoth projects while serving in this capacity until 17 February 2016.
During his service as the Vice Chancellor of KDU he was contemporaneously appointed as the Director General of the Centre for Research and Development, Ministry of Defence (MOD), Military Secretary to the Army Headquarters and Colonel Commandant of the Mechanized Infantry Regiment and also served as the Colonel Commandant of the Sri Lanka Armoured Corps.
In recognition of his contribution to Sri Lanka’s higher education sector, Major General Milinda Peiris was appointed as a Committee Member in the National Education Commission and in the University Grants Commission of Sri Lanka. He was a Member of the Board of Management of Defence Services Command & Staff College, the Committee of Vice Chancellors & Directors (CVCD), Sri Lanka, the Standing Committee on Quality Assurance and Accreditation of the University Grant Commission.
He served as a member of the Council, University of Moratuwa and also of the Board of Management of the Lakshman Kadiragamar Institute for International Relations and Strategic Studies (LKIIRSS).
Major General Milinda Peiris holds a Master of Philosophy (MPhil) degree awarded by the University of Madras, a Post Graduate Diploma in Management from the Open University of Sri Lanka (OUSL), and a Diploma in Senior Level Defence Management from the University of Indore, India.
During his military career, he valiantly fought in many battles launched to eradicate ruthless terrorism from the motherland in different capacities ranging from a Troop Leader to a Divisional Commander. During his tour of duty, he was severely wounded in action in the Operation “Sathjaya III”. He is a recipient of Rana Wickrama Padakkama (RWP) for his acts of bravery in the face of the enemy and Rana Sura Padakkama (RSP) awarded for distinguished conduct in the face of the enemy in battle. He is also a recipient of Vishishta Seva Vibhushana (VSV) medal for exceptional, distinguished and loyal service in the Sri Lanka Army and Uttama Seva Padakkama (USP) for his unblemished military career in the Army.
He was awarded the Legion of Merit (LOM), which is a military decoration of the United States Armed Forces for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services and achievements.
In July 2014, Major General Milinda Peiris was 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. Further, he was conferred with the “Education Leadership Award” by the World Education Congress on 23 July 2015.
In addition to the above, he served as the CEO / Vice Chancellor of Saegis Campus, Sri Lanka and also as a Council member of the Board of Management of the Lakshman Kadiragamar Institute for International Relations and Strategic Studies (LKIIRSS).
Presently he is serving as a member of the Advisory Council of the Institute of National Security Studies, Sri Lanka (INSSSL) and as the Chief Commissioner of Sri Lanka Scout Association and the Vice Chancellor of General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University.
Major General Milinda is married to Nilan, a lawyer by profession and is blessed with two sons, Malik and Avinash.
Deputy Vice Chancellor Defence and Administration
Brigadier Chinthaka Wickramasinghe is presently serving as the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Defence and Administration) of the Kotelawala Defence University. He was born on 20 March 1969 and studied at the Richmond College, Galle. He was enlisted to the Intake VIII of the Kotelawala Defence University on 03 November 1990 and was commissioned into the Corps of Sri Lanka Engineers on 03 November 1992. He obtained the BSc Engineering Degree (Mechanical) from the University of Moratuwa in 1996. He had his basic military training at the Sri Lanka Military Academy where he was awarded the Presidents’ Medal for being the first in order of merit.
Brigadier Wickramasinghe has a wide-ranging experience in various Command, Staff and Instructional appointments during his Military career. He has held the Command appointments of Troop Commander, Squadron Commander and the Commanding Officer of 11 Field Engineer Regiment and 14 Field Engineer Regiment. He commanded the 551 Infantry Brigade in Point Pedro, Jaffna. He also functioned as the Project Manager (Plant and Equipment) at the Defence Headquarters Complex Project in Colombo. In addition, he has served as the Deputy Chief of U9 (CIMIC) Branch in United Nations Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH). He has also functioned as the Military Assistant to the Commander of the Army and the Secretary to the Chief of Defence Staff.
He has held Officer Instructor appointments at Sri Lanka Military Academy as a Course Officer, the Senior Instructor and the Head of the Training Team. He has also served as a Directing Staff and Head of the Training Team at Defence Services Command and Staff College. In Staff appointments, he has served as Staff Officer II (Plans) at the Sri Lanka Military Academy, Brigade Major in 224 Brigade and General Staff Officer I in 57 Division and Colonel General Staff in 11 Division.
He has followed many Military courses in Sri Lanka including Army Command and Staff Course in which he became first in Order of Merit and won both Golden Owl and Golden Pen awards. He holds a Masters Degree in Defence Studies from University of Kelaniya. In addition he has a diploma in Conflict Resolution and currently reading for his Masters in Human Rights and Bachelor’s Degree in Law. Besides the courses of training which he followed in Sri Lanka, he has followed Military training courses in India, Bangladesh, China, Vietnam and United States Army Command and General Staff Course in the USA.
Brigadier Wickramasinghe counts 32 years of loyal and unblemished record of service in the Sri Lanka Army. His interests include playing and watching Cricket and Music. He is a Buddhist. He is married to Mrs. Sandamalie Wickramasinghe and blessed with two sons.
Deputy Vice Chancellor Academic
Prof. K.A.S.Dhammika, Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic) of the Sir John Kotelawala Defense University of Sri Lanka was graduated from University of Kelaniya with B.B.Mgt.(HR)Special degree. He followed Postgraduate Certificate in HRM from Postgraduate Institute of Management(PIM) and postgraduate Diploma in Business Statistics, from University of Sri Jayawaradanapura in 2000. He got his M.Com. degree from University of Kelaniya 2002 and The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) from Northern University of Malaysia(UUM), Malaysia in 2013. Further, he completed the Facility Development Program (FDP) from Indian Institute of Management (IIMA) Ahmadabad, India 2004.
Prof. KAS Dhammika joined with the University of Kelaniya as Lecturer (Probationary) to the Department of Human Resources Management (HRM) of University of Kelaniya in 1999. He was promoted to the Post of Senior Lecturer Grade II and I in 2004 and 2010 respectively. Then he was promoted to the Post of professor in Human Resources Management in 2016.
Prof. KAS Dhammika has held the responsibility at various posts both within the university and outside. He has served as the Head of the Department (2007-2010) (2013-2015) Coordinator of master of MHRM, Deputy Director of Centre for Distance and Continuing Education (CDCE), (2018, 2019) , Director CDCE (2020) Director, School of Accounting and Business (SAB), the Charted Institute of Accountants of Sri Lanka (CIA) and Chairman of the corporate plan committee.
He has served as member of many boards such as member of the Senate, Curriculum Development Committee (CULTEC), Appeal Board, Disciplinary Board, Quality Assurance Unit and cell, Senate subcommittee for university ranking, Management board of MBA.
Prof. K.A.S. Dhammika has been a resource person for programs such as MBA, M.Com, MHRM, PhD, DBA, of the university of Kelaniya and in other universities. As a researcher, he has published his research papers both in national and international journals and presented at various national and international conferences. He has authored few books namely, Strategic Management: Theory and Concepts, Organizational Theory and Design, Organizational Behavior, Case studies in Strategic Management.
At present Prof. K.A.S. Dhammika is the chief editor of Kelaniya journal of HRM, and member of editorial board of few national and international journal. He is a trained program reviewer of the QA units of the UGC and serves as external evaluator for some academic programs.