08th December 2021 17:43:33 Hours
General Shavendra Silva, Chief of Defence Staff and Commander of the Army, just minutes after HE the President Gotabaya Rajapaksa appointed Major General Vikum Liyanage as the new Chief of Staff following recommendations of the Commander of the Army accepted his letter of appointment from General Shavendra Silva this morning (7) at the Army Headquarters.
During the brief meet at the Commander’s Office, he was extended best wishes and the Army Chief requested him to carry on with his responsibilities to the best of his ability since the Army as the biggest human resource in the island is admired both here and abroad as one of the best professional military organizations. “I expect you as the 59th Chief of Staff of this respected organization to maintain its best standards while simultaneously taking care of all Army personnel serving round the country. We have been entrusted with formidable tasks in many fields placing the utmost trust in us at a time the whole world has been affected with a pandemic. The Army has fulfilled many nation-building roles and is enthusiastically engaged in organic fertilizer production, COVID-19 roles, public utility projects, house constructions, civil welfare roles, distribution of relief packs, etc. Your contribution to all those spheres and administrative roles would certainly help and promote the organization’s image, to say the least,” General Shavendra Silva told the new Chief of Staff.
“Your previous experiences both at ground level and administration as Commandant Sri Lanka Army Volunteer Force would certainly serve an inspiration to the new appointment,” the Commander added.
Major General Vikum Liyanage in turn thanked the Army Chief for his selection as one of the most senior officers in the organization as the Chief of Staff and vowed to fulfill the organizational aspirations to the best of his ability during his tenure of office.
Here follows a brief profile of Major General Vikum Liyanage;
Major General Vikum Liyanage as an Officer Cadet joined the Regular Force of the Sri Lanka Army in 1986 in the Regular Intake - 26 and followed basic military training at the prestigious Sri Lanka Military Academy at Diyatalawa and afterwards at Pakistan Military Academy. Upon successful completion of Officer Cadet training, he was commissioned in the rank of Second Lieutenant and was posted to the Gajaba Regiment.
During his 35 years of illustrious military career, he has held a number of significant command, staff and instructional appointments including, Platoon Commander, Company Commander and Adjutant of 4th Gajaba Regiment, Intelligence Officer of 21 and 55 Infantry Divisions, Second in Command of 14th Gajaba Regiment, Adjutant of General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University, Staff Officer II (Admin) at Regimental Centre of the Gajaba Regiment, Second in Command of 10th Gajaba Regiment, Staff Officer II at Directorate of Staff Duties, Commanding Officer of 8th Gajaba Regiment, Brigade Commander (Overlooking) of 225 and 553 Infantry Brigades, Sector Commander at Operations Command Colombo, Brigade Commander of 215, 542, 224, 221 and 623 Infantry Brigades, Director (Doctrine & Training) and Director (Operations & Systems) at the Office of the Chief of Defence Staff (OCDS), Commandant of Combat Training School (Ampara), Director General of Psychological Operations, General Officer Commanding of 21 Infantry Division, Commander Security Forces - West), Commander Security Forces - Central, Currently, he is also the Colonel of the Regiment of Sri Lanka National Guard and the Chairman of Sri Lanka Army Wushu Committee.
Major General Vikum Liyanage was able to widen his horizons through the experience gained over the years from the respective appointments in his Office and through further training obtained. He has successfully followed a number of local courses, including Internal Security/ Counter Revolution Warfare Course at Army Training School (Maduru Oya), Method of Instructions Course at Sri Lanka Military Academy, Forward Observation Officer Course at School of Artillery (Minneriya), Battalion Support Weapon Course at Infantry Training Centre (Minneriya), Platoon Commanders’ Refresher Course at Army Training School (Maduru Oya) Company Commanders’ Refresher Course at Army Headquarters, Unit Security Officers’ Course at Military Intelligence Corps, Management & Leadership Development Course at General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University, Basic Mediation Skills & Process (UNHCR) at 21 Division, Multinational Platoon Exercise-3 at Kukuleganga.
To his credit, he has also undergone many overseas courses, workshops and seminars of professional value, including Officers’ Physical Training Course in India, Young Officers’ Course in Pakistan, Junior Command Course in India, Unit Commanders’ Course in Bangladesh, Senior Command Course in India, Advanced Security Cooperation Programme in Hawai, Regular Education Programme at National Institute of Lemhannas in Indonesia.
Further, he holds a Masters’ degree in Strategic and Resilience Studies from Lemhannas University, Indonesia and a degree on ‘Global Security in Indo-Pacific Region’ from Asia-Pacific Centre for Security Studies in Hawai. Further, he has received a Diploma in Defence Management from the University of Indore in India.
Over and above, Major General Vikum Liyanage who has actively taken part in operations against the LTTE has been adorned with gallantry awards of Rana Wickrama Padakkama for individual or associated acts of bravery in the face of the enemy and performed voluntarily and Rana Sura Padakkama for distinguished conduct in the face of the enemy. The Senior Officer was accorded with the above awards thrice in his military career for being a pioneer in eradicating the terrorism during North and East Humanitarian Operations. Further, he is a recipient of Desha Puthra Padakkama for being wounded whilst on operation by enemy action. Major General Vikum Liyanage has also received service decorations such as East Humanitarian Operation Medal, North Humanitarian Operation Medal, Purna Bhumi Padakkama, North and East Operation Medal, Riviresa Campaign Service Medal, 50th Independence Anniversary Commemoration Medal, Sri Lanka Army 50th Anniversary Medal, Long Service Medal, Sewa Abhimani Medal and Service Medal.
In addition to the above, in recognition of his immense contribution for fostering the Buddha Sasana, he was conferred with the honorary title of ‘Janamanya Wibhutiratna’ by the Buddhist Monastic Order of Amarapura Chapter. He is married to Mrs Janaki Jayaratne and is blessed with a daughter and a son.
Major General H.L.V.M Liyanage assumed office as the 47th Commandant of the Sri Lanka Army Volunteer Force on 05 October 2021 before he was appointed the new Chief of Staff.