Sri Lanka Army

Defender of the Nation

Former Commander of the Army Genral Deshamanya J.E.D Perera's Funeral with Military Honours

The military funeral of late General Deshamanya J. E. D Perera, former Commander of the Army takes place on Wednesday (14) with full military honours at Colombo General Cemetery at 4.30 p.m.
Here follows the formal Special Part I Order, issued by the Commander of the Army Lieutenant General R.M.D Ratnayake.    


General Deshamanya J E D Perera VSV D Litt (Honoris Causa) FCMI (UK) FIMgt (SL) ndc psc
The Commander of the Army, all Officers and Other Ranks  express their immense grief with intense feeling and profound sorrow on the demise of  General Deshamanya J E D Perera VSV D Litt (Honoris Causa) FCMI (UK) FIMgt (SL) ndc psc,  the  former  Commander  of  the  Army,  on  11 August 2013  in  Colombo.

Joseph Everard Denis Perera was born in Colombo on 10 October 1930. He was  educated at  St Peter’s College, where  he  excelled  in  academics whilst  proving  himself  to be  an  outstanding sportsman, particularly in the fields of athletics, rugby and tennis.

Having been enlisted to the first batch of Officer Cadets in the Ceylon Army on 10 October 1949, General Perera underwent his initial military training at the prestigious Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst in the United Kingdom. On successful completion  of   training on 2 August 1951, he was commissioned  as  a  Second  Lieutenant  and was posted to the Ceylon  Engineers thus becoming the first ever officer trained at Sandhurst to join the Ceylon Engineers.

Due to the dedication, competence and commitment displayed even as a young officer, General Deshamanya J E D Perera VSV ndc psc,  was  promoted  to  the  ranks  of Lieutenant  on 2 February 1953,  Captain  on  2 February  1956  and Major  on 01 October 1960.  His outstanding performance warranted him to be considered for senior ranks and thereby was  promoted  to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel on 01 October 1969,  Colonel  on 31 January 1973, Brigadier on 5 August 1977, Major General on 14 October 1977 and to the rank of Lieutenant  General on 14  September 1981.

Some of the distinguished appointments held by him are:

A Troop and a Squadron Commander of the Ceylon Engineers
Staff Captain (A), Army Headquarters
Officer Commanding Ceylon School of Military Engineering
Defence Attaché to the High Commission of Ceylon in the United Kingdom
2nd in Command, 1st Field Engineer Regiment
Commandant, Army Training Centre
Commander, Southern Command
Commander, Northern Command
Director Plans, Army Headquarters
Director Operations and Training, Army Headquarters

Chief Coordinator for all foreign delegations during the Non Aligned Nations Summit in 1976
Chief of Staff of the Army
Due to his outstanding leadership, highly professional attitude towards the call of duty and his unblemished conduct, he was appointed as the Commander of the Sri Lanka Army on 14 October 1977.

During  his  tenure  as  the Commander  of  the  Army,  he  was instrumental in regularizing and streamlining the much needed procedures for a smooth functioning of a Force. He conceptualized and designed the unique gallantry awards and awards for distinguished service for the armed forces of Sri Lanka.  During his tenure of duty he formulated the dress codes and ceremonial procedures for the Army.

He initiated many infrastructure development projects essentially required in the sphere of military training. The pinnacle of his vision towards training was the establishment of the Sri Lanka Military Academy and General Sir John Kotelawala Defence Academy (KDA). General Perera envisioned KDA as an essential institute for fostering a spirit of comradeship among tri-service officers while providing them tertiary level education. The idea was the facilitation of joint operations during their service in the armed forces. The depth of his vision is exemplified by the fact that the “togetherness” among tri-service officers greatly contributed to the success of military operations years later. General Perera served as the Chancellor of KDU from 9 November1995 to 30 December 2010.

Due emphasis was also given by him towards operational commitments by restructuring the organization of the Army, raising the first ever squadron of Commandos and by raising the Women’s Corps. Further, due to his long term vision for the Army he was instrumental in obtaining land for certain regiments and training establishments such as Saliyapura and Ambepussa.

It is noteworthy that General Perera was born exactly 19 years before the Ceylon Army was formed and he was enlisted on his 19th birthday in 1949 with the first intake of officers, at the inauguration of the Army in the independent Ceylon.

General Deshamanya J E D Perera VSV ndc psc followed several courses of studies in the United Kingdom and India. His graduation from the Royal School of Military Engineering, Chatham (UK), Army Staff College Camberley (UK) and National Defence College New Delhi, India are a few amongst many qualifications he has obtained.  He is also a recipient of the degree of Doctor of Letters (Honoris Causa) from General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University.

In recognition of his dedication, efficiency and loyalty, many medals were awarded to him during his tenure of service, and he was the first recipient of the Vishista Seva Vibhushanaya Medal in Sri Lanka. Among the other medals are:
Republic of   Sri Lanka Armed Services Medal 1972
Sri Lanka Army 10th Anniversary Medal 1959
Sri Lanka Army 25th Anniversary Medal 1974
Ceylon Armed Forces Inauguration Medal 
President’s Inauguration Medal 1978
Sri Lanka Armed Services Long Service Medal 1979
Volunteer Force 100th Anniversary Medal

In addition to these medals, General Perera has also been awarded with the ‘Order of National Security Merit’ from the Republic of Korea in recognition of his outstanding and meritorious service for promoting mutual relations in various fields of common interest between the two countries.

During  his  military  career he  contributed  immensely  to  the  betterment  of  the  Army  and  won  the  admiration  of  his superiors  as  well  as  his  subordinates. He  was  a  source of  encouragement  and  inspiration to Officers  and  Other  Ranks  alike. He also initiated a number of unique welfare measures for the benefit of Officers and Other Ranks. He was always held in high esteem among his peers and colleagues for his absolute integrity and forthrightness. After completing 32 years of yeoman service, he retired as the Commander of the Army on 14 October 1981.

On retirement from the Army, General Perera was appointed as the High Commissioner of Sri Lanka in Australia with accreditation to New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and the Islands of Fiji. Subsequently, his expertise was obtained by the Government of Sri Lanka by appointing him as the Head of the Defence Review Committee. He also led the committee that produced the history book of the Army launched during the 50th anniversary celebration. He was the founder president of the Association of Retired Flag Rank Officers.      
In  honour  of  his  commitment  and  dedicated  service  to  the  nation,  Her  Excellency  the President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumarathunga bestowed on him the title of Deshamanya in the year 2000. On 01 October 2007, General J E D Perera was promoted to the rank of General by His Excellency the President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

The last rites of the Late General Deshamanya J E D Perera VSV ndc psc with full military honours will be held on 14 August 2013 at 1630 hours at the General Cemetery, Borella. We share with the family members of the Late General Deshamanya J E D Perera VSV ndc psc their hour of grief. Though you have departed, your name and exceptional services will be remembered. You will remain a legend in the Army and your contributions would be cherished by all in the Armed Forces of Sri Lanka. Above all, you would remain a true son of Mother Lanka.

General J E D Perera, being a proud and distinguished Officer and a Gentleman, even at his final conscious moment, would have thought deeply about his country and the institution that he served so honourably, the Sri Lanka Army.  


14 August 2013