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 Post subject: Major General Janaka Perera
 Post Posted: Mon Oct 06, 2008 10:00 am 
Major General Janaka Perera
Will be always remembered for defending the nation

@ LL /Monday, 06 October 2008

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Major GeneralJanaka Perer a and his wife was killed by a suicide bomb blast on October 6, 2008 in Anuradhapura. Janaka Perera, one of the few officers who played key roles in battles against the JVP and the LTTE, will be always remembered for vowing to defend the nation.

Major General Janaka Perera, RWP, RSP, VSV, USP, rcds, psc, CR (died October 6, 2008) was a Sri Lankan General and politician. He served as the Chief of Staff of the Sri Lanka Army and is coincided as one of the most distinguished generals in Sri Lanka. After retiring from the army he served as a Sri Lankan High Commissioner to Australia & Ambassador to Indonesia. He was the opposition leader of the North Central Provincial Council till his death on October 6, 2008.

General Perera was educated at St. Joseph's College, Colombo and gain entry to the University of Ceylon to study geology at the Peradeniya campus before quieting to join the Sri Lanka Army in 1966 as an Officer Cadet. He received his training at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in England and completing training he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Ceylon Engineers, later he transferred to the newly formed Commando Regiment. Maj Gen Pererea is a graduate of the Royal College of Defence Studies.

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As a Colonel, Janaka Perera took a significant role suppressing the JVP insurrection of 1987-89. He was the Provincial Commander of the North-Western Province as well as being in charge of the special operations of the Operation Combine in Colombo which led to the capture of the JVP leader Rohana Wijeweera.

In the following years he played a significant role in combating the LTTE in the Sri Lankan Civil War, specially in the Jaffna and Welioya areas. He contribution greatly to the Sri Lankan military effort during the Eelam War III. Brigadier Pererea was played a major role during Operation Riviresa which lead to the liberation of the Jaffna peninsula, during which he commanded the 53 Division which consisted of the Independent Brigade, Air Mobile Brigade, Armored Brigade and an Infantry Brigade.

The LTTE suffered their first big defeat in the East at the hands of the Sri Lankan troops under Perera’s command in July 1995. The 11-hour Welioya battle shocked the LTTE.

Troops and poorly equipped homeguards under Perera’s command repulsed a major LTTE sea-borne assault on Kokilai, Kokkuthuduwai, Janakapura, Jayasinghepura and army’s sixth Brigade Headquarters, Welioya. At least 300 tigers were killed. The LTTE was forced to withdraw leaving bodies and a large stock of armaments. Perera returned bodies of about 200 cadres to the LTTE through the ICRC.

That was the first major transfer of LTTE bodies through the ICRC and also the first heavy defeat the LTTE suffered in a single battle. Only two personnel under Perera’s command were killed.

Operation “Thunder Strike” was launched in October 1995 to expand the defences of Palaly in a bid to give some extra protection to aircraft and helicopters operating out of the base. At that time the base was under regular mortar attacks.

Troops engaged in the operation were able to capture about 25 square kms southeast and east of Palaly and were engaged in consolidating their defences when the LTTE struck. The enemy assault was very similar to the one that forced the army to abandon operation “Leap Forward” less than four months ago. The main attack was directed on troops under Perera’s command who succeeded in inflicting heavy losses on the enemy killing at least 200. At least 120 bodies were returned to the LTTE through the ICRC. The LTTE never recovered from that shock. Then “Riviresa” campaign was launched on October 17 and came to an end on May 12 after troops regained Point Pedro.

Brigadier Perera was promoted to the rank of Major General on April 15, 1996 along with Brigadiers P. A. Karunatilake and Neil Dias. They commanded the three Divisions that were involved in the “Riviresa” campaign. Perera contributed immensely to the “Riviresa” success. Under his command, the elite 53 Division, then known as the Reserve Strike Force [RSF] comprising Special Forces, Commandos and Air Mobile troops, played a crucial role in the campaign that involved two other divisions, the 51 and the 52.

Later Janaka Perera was promoted to the post of Deputy Chief of Staff and also had functioned as Commandant, Sri Lanka Army Command and Staff College.

Following the fall Elephant Pass in April 2000 which forced the SL Army units in Jaffna to fall back due to lack of fixed defence positions, Perera was appointed Overall Operations Commander (OOC) and tasked with countering the LTTE offensive, along with Major General (now Lt. General) Sarath Fonseka who was appointed Security Forces Commander, Jaffna.

Major General Janaka Perera was appointment as Chief of Staff of the army in 2000 but retired in 2001 when he was overlooked for promotion to Army Commander.

Following his retirement he was made Sri Lanka's High Commissioner to Australia and later Sri Lanka's Ambassador to Indonesia, but was recalled before his term ended.

Since is retirement from his diplomatic career, General Perera has taken into active politics as a member and a organizer of the United National Party (UNP).

During the 2008 North Central Provincial Council election, which he claimed to be marred by violence, he was as the UNP candidate for the post of Chief Minister for the North Central Province, although he gained the most preferential votes his party failed to gained a majority in the council, therefore is the current its opposition leader.

Janaka Perera was married to Vajira, herself a former officer in the Sri Lanka Army Women's Corps. Janaka Perera and his wife was killed by a suicide bomb blast on October 6, 2008 in Anuradhapura.

Perera, one of the few officers who played key roles in battles against the JVP and the LTTE, will be always remembered for vowing to defend the nation.


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