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 Post subject: Special Forces Lieutenant Colonel Lalith Jayasinghe
 Post Posted: Mon Dec 01, 2008 8:37 pm 
Special Forces Lieutenant Colonel Lalith Jayasinghe

As a warrior of distinction and highest integrity, Major Jayasinghe played a prominent role in the execution of his duties in the battlefront. His contribution to the SF in the past couple of years was exemplary and goes into the annals of SF and Army history. He was responsible for killing a number of LTTE top leaders in daring operations, including founder of the Sea Tigers and its air wing Col. Shanker (alias Sornalingam) in September 2001, its intelligence leader Charles killed in January 2008, and Sea Tiger Deputy Leader Kangai Amaran in June 2001. Lieutenant Colonel Lalith Jayasinghe was killed in action on November 26 2008, while taking part in a daring deep penetration operation behind enemy lines some 28 kilometres north of Oddusudan.

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Sunday, December 07, 2008

Lieutenant Colonel J.A.L Jayasinghe, Special Forces Regiment, laid his life for the sake of his beloved Motherland on 26th November 2008 while fighting against terrorists in Oddusudan area. His last rites were performed in Avissawella last Monday amidst one of the largest gathering of mourners ever seen in that town. What was most significant was that a large number of Tamil estate workers were among the mourners

Lieutenant Colonel Lalith Jayasinghe who led a eight man team some 30 kilometres inside enemy lines in the Oddusudan area was killed in action. Jayasinghe’s team after taking out one target and while preparing to take on a second target got into a firefight with a Tiger team that suddenly descended on their location. In the firefight he had been wounded.

His team managed to withdraw to a safer location to treat their commanding officer. But their pursuers engaged them again ending the life of the brave Lieutenant Colonel, and injuring another soldier. The dedication of this team had been such that the remaining six members had beaten back the attackers and managed to return to their unit with the body of the Lieutenant Colonel and the injured soldier.

Lieutenant Colonel Jayasinghe had been twice awarded the highest bravery medal given to a living officer, the Weera Wickreme Vibushana, while he was alive. In addition he had won a number of other fighting awards including Desha Puthra, Northeast, Poorna Bhumi, Army Anniversary and Independence Anniversary medals.

Lieutenant Colonel Jayasinghewas responsible for killing a number of LTTE top leaders in daring operations, including founder of the Sea Tigers and its air wing Col. Shanker (alias Sornalingam) in September 2001, its intelligence leader Charles killed in January 2008, and Sea Tiger Deputy Leader Kangai Amaran in June 2001.

One of the key reasons for the LTTE suing for peace and declaring a unilateral ceasefire in 2001 was the terrible toll the deep penetration units of the Army led by officers of the caliber of Lt. Col. Jayasinghe were exacting from the LTTE leadership.

Enlisted to the Army Regular Force on 22nd January 1997 as a cadet officer he received his training in Bangladesh Defence Services College pursuing the Course – 3 before he was commissioned to the 6th Gemunu Regiment. Afterwards he followed the Special Forces Training Course –24 and succeeded in receiving SF credentials to join 3rd Special Forces Regiment to serve operational areas.

Lieutenant Jayasinghe, showing his talents was able to rise to the ranks of Captain and Major within a matter of ten years after his commissioning. He served as Platoon, Company, Commander and also as a Commanding Officer in different formations.

To his credit, he has followed many overseas and local courses. He successfully completed courses offered from India, China, US and Bangladesh. He also received training in Minneriya, Ganemulla, Uva Kudaoya and Diyathalawa military centers.

He received his basic and higher education from Awissawella President’s College and Colombo South Lumbini College. As an enthusiastic sportsman, he played Rugby for his school during his leisure time and brought honour to his alma-mater.

As a warrior of distinction and highest integrity, Major Jayasinghe played a prominent role in the execution of his duties in the battlefront. He was admired and fondly loved by all his officers and soldiers alike. His contribution to the SF in the past couple of years was exemplary and goes into the annals of SF and Army history.

Major Jayasinghe, anxious to see a country free from divisive forces has fought the enemy fearlessly and determinedly until he was trapped into an enemy assault on that fateful day. He leaves behind his beloved wife, parents and brothers and sisters. His military funeral with full honours took place at Ukwatta, Awissawella general cemetery on Monday (01), Dec 2008, evening. He was posthumously promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.

Though Lt. Col. Jayasinghe struck fear into the Tiger leadership with his daring attacks, with ordinary Tamils amidst whom his family lived in Avissawella, he was a very popular figure. His father is the estate clerk of Farnham Estate. In this estate out of 460 families, their family was one of only ten Sinhala families there, all others being Tamil. When ever he came home, he would give a ride in his vehicle to any estate employee found walking, despite him being a gazetted officer. Lt. Col. Jayasinghe’s brother is also in the Special Forces and had been just discharged from hospital after recovering from a battle field injury, and on his way to the battle-field once again, when this tragic news was received.

Risking
The two brothers had been risking their lives for the country on numerous occasions; yet anyone visiting Lt. Col Jayasinghe’s house easily realises he had not made anything for himself, for he and his recently married wife, who is now five months pregnant. lived in a modest rented house.
From his father’s EPF funds he had managed to buy a half a building plot and he had mortgaged that half to a bank to buy the other half. When he got married ten months ago, they had tried to renovate the estate house given to his father as his quarters for the wedding, but the Estate Superintendent had objected to any improvements.

We reproduce below excerpts of the report on Lt. Col Jayasinghe given by his American Course officer after he successfully completed the Infantry Officers’ Basic Course (IOBC) at Ft Benning Georgia, USA, having been handpicked for it by Army Commander Lt. Gen Fonseka.

“Capt Lalith performed exceptionally well, bringing credit to both himself and his country and earning the respect of his peers. CPT Lalith was a remarkable student. He is the most physically fit international student I have had the pleasure of working with. Additionally, he volunteered to compete in the company ‘Iron Man’ competition where he was placed 10th out of the 34 toughest lieutenants in the company."

Dedication
“His dedication and commitment to his profession were evidenced by his superior work ethic. . He always looked for ways to improve himself, his peers, and his Army, upon returning. CPT Lalith excelled in all phases of the course. This was evidenced by his outstanding performance in several leadership positions during platoon operations. He passed the Army Physical Fitness Test, placed 10th out of 156 lieutenants during the 5 mile run, and also placed in the top 10 during the company 2.5 mile equipment run. Throughout the course CPT Laith shared his experience with his peers and aided their development as leaders."

“It has been an honour being CPT Lalith’s instructor and I would proudly serve with him as an ally in the future, and enjoy learning from him.
I highly recommend CPT Lalith for further attendance at U.S. Army Schools “.

Best course reports
Retired Brigadier C.S.N.B. Mudannayake, who is now employed by the US embassy in Colombo, and who had a hand in selecting Jayasinghe for the Ft Benning course, told his friends in an e-mail that in his 11 years of defence work at the embassy, Jayasinghe came back with one of the best course reports he had seen during that entire period.
Brig Mudannayake who attended the funeral on Monday said the entire Awissawella town was shut down by the public as a mark of respect to this brave officer.


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