SRI LANKA Army’s new Chief of Staff (CoS) Major General M.C. Mendaka. P. Samarasinghe RWP RSP USP ndc psc assumed his duties this morning (27) at his office in the Army Headquarters after a brief religious ceremony.
Major General Samarasinghe has been serving as Commander, Security Forces, Jaffna until he was appointed the new CoS after the new Army Commander took office a week ago. Major General Samarasinghe observed religious rites before the members of the Maha Sangha invoked blessings on the new office.
Major General Mendaka Samarasinghe, born in Colombo on 1 April 1958, had his education at St. Thomas' College, Mt Lavinia. He captained the College Boxing Team, led the Junior and Senior Cadet Platoons as the Sergeant, played 2 XV Rugby and brought fame to his alma-mater. He was also a college prefect.
He joined the Sri Lanka Military Academy as an Officer Cadet in July 1978 and passed out in January 1980 winning the Sword of Honour for the Best All Round Cadet. He was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant and joined the 1st Field Engineer Regiment. He has commanded troops in the last 3 decades of operations; Combat Engineers up to Brigade level, and Infantry, from Brigade to Division to Security Forces level. More recently, he oversaw the battles in Mavil Aru, Muttur, Sampoor and Manirasakulam as the General Officer Commanding for 22 Division in Trincomalee and gave leadership to Jaffna Security Forces to capture Muhamalai, Kilali, Elephant Pass and Chundikulam.
Major General Samarasinghe holds a Master of Science Degree in Defence Studies and a Master of Philosophy in Defence & Strategic Studies from the Madras University, India. He has received his military education in Sri Lanka and overseas. A few of the overseas military training institutions attended by him are: College of Military Engineering-India, School of Military Engineering-Malaysia, Defence Services Command and Staff College-India, Engineer School, Fort Leonardwood, U.S.A., College of Combat-India, Royal Military College of Science - U.K., Asia Pacific Centre for Security Studies, Hawaii - U.S.A. and the National Defence College,India. He was also a Guest Speaker at the Pacific Armies Management Seminar held in Jakarta, Indonesia in 2008.
Some of the important command and staff appointments held by him include General Staff Officer 1(Plans)-AHQ, Colonel General Staff-55 Infantry Division, Chief Instructor-Army Command and Staff College, Commander - 561 Infantry Brigade, Commander - 552 Infantry Brigade, Commander - Engineer Brigade, Deputy General Officer Commanding 53 Infantry Division, Brigadier General Staff - Security Forces HQ (East),Commandant - Sri Lanka Military Academy, Director General General Staff - Army Headquarters, General Officer Commanding 22 Division-Trincomalee and Overall Operations Commander (Western Province & Colombo).
Major General Samarasinghe was a member of the Advisory Group to the Government of Sri Lanka Delegation during the peace talks with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in Geneva in February 2006.
Among his most significant awards are the Rana Wickrama Padakkama (RWP) and Rana Sura Padakkama (RSP) for gallantry during operations and the Utthama Seva Padakkama(USP) for meritorious service.
Members of the Maha Sangha led by Ven. Prof. Bellanwila Wimalarathana Thero and Ven. Boralesgamuwe Pemarathana Thero conducted religious observances.