Janaka Perera

Infobox MP
honorific-prefix = Major General
name = Janaka Perera
honorific-suffix =

caption =
order =
order1 = Leader of the opposition of the North Central Provincial Council
order2 = Former Sri Lankan High Commissioner to Australia & Ambassador to Indonesia
constituency_MP =
parliament =
majority =
term_start =
term_end =
predecessor =
successor =
birth_date = birth date|1946|2|1
birth_place =
death_date = death date and age|2008|10|6|1946|2|1
death_place = Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka
nationality = Sri Lankan
party = United National
otherparty =
partner =
relations =
children =
residence =
alma_mater =
occupation = Politician
profession = Military
period =
allegiance = flagicon|Sri Lanka Sri Lanka
serviceyears = 1966-2001 (35 years)
rank = Major General
branch = Army
commands = Chief of Staff of the Sri Lanka Army,
Overall Operations Commander Northern Sector,
General Officer Commanding (GOC) of the 53 Division
unit = Commando Regiment,
Sri Lanka Engineers
battles = 1971 JVP Insurrection,
Insurrection 1987-89,
Sri Lankan Civil War
awards = Rana Wickrama Padakkama,
Rana Sura Padakkama,
Vishista Seva Vibhushanaya,
Uttama Seva Padakkama
laterwork =

Major General Janaka Perera, RWP, RSP, VSV, USP, rcds, psc, CR (1 February, 1946 - October 6, 2008) [ [http://www.dailynews.lk/2008/10/06/news001.asp Maj Gen Janaka Perera Killed in LTTE suicide attack - Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka] dailynews.lk] was a Sri Lankan General and politician. He served as the Chief of Staff of the Sri Lanka Army and is considered one of the most distinguished generals in Sri Lankan history. 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 [ [http://www.lankadissent.com/en/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1435:will-resume-battl Will resume battle for 17th Amendment - Ranil] ] until he was killed on October 6, 2008 in a suicide bombing by suspected Tamil Tiger (LTTE) terrorists.


General Perera was educated at St. Joseph's College, Colombo and was accepted to University of Ceylon to study geology at the Peradeniya campus before quitting to join the Sri Lanka Army in 1966 as an Officer Cadet [ [http://www.island.lk/2008/07/21/news3.html Janaka rejects police bodyguards Firmly believes in military victory against LTTE, The Island] ] . He received his training at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst [http://www.atimes.com/ind-pak/DE18Df04.html SRI LANKA: THE UNTOLD STORY, Chapter 40: Rohana Wijeweera's killing - still a mystery] ] in England. After completing his training he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the 1st Field Engineer Regiment, Ceylon Engineers. Later, he transferred to the newly formed Commando Regiment [http://www.priu.gov.lk/news_update/Current_Affairs/CA200101/20010130Maj.Gen.Janaka.htm Maj. Gen. Janaka Perera retires after 34 years of service] ] . Major General Pererea is a graduate of the Royal College of Defence Studies and the Defence Services Staff College [http://www.army.lk/morenews.php?id=17046 Major General K.J.C Perera (Retd) RWP RSP VSV USP rcds psc is No More] ] .

Military career

He first saw action in during the 1971 JVP Insurrection as Lieutenant and was promoted to Captain in 1973.

As a Colonel, Janaka Perera took a significant role in 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 [http://www.thesundayleader.lk/20080629/editorial-.htm Can Janaka Deliver?] ] . He was promoted to Brigadier in 1989.

In the following years he played a significant role in combating the LTTE in the Sri Lankan Civil War, especially in the Jaffna as the Brigade Commander of the Independent Brigade, 24 Brigade, Commander - Reserve Strike Force and in the Welioya areas as first as brigade commander 6 Brigade (Welioya) and later as General Officer Commanding -Welioya after being promoted to the rank of Major General in 1996. He contributed greatly to the Sri Lankan military effort during the Eelam War III especially in the Welioya sector. General Perera has appointed general officer commanding of the 23 Division, the 51 Division & the 53 Division and was appointed Commander, Commando/Special Force Regiment on 15th April 1999.

Brigadier Pererea played a major role during Operation Riviresa which led to the liberation of the Jaffna peninsula, during which he commanded the elite 53 Division which consisted of the Independent Brigade, Air Mobile Brigade, Armored Brigade and an Infantry Brigade [ [http://www.army.lk/operations01.php?take=22 EELAM WAR III, Sri Lanka Army] ] . Later he was promoted to the post of Deputy Chief of Staff and functioned as Commandant, Sri Lanka Army Command and Staff College.

Following the Second Battle of Elephant Pass in April 2000 which forced the Sri Lankan Army units in Jaffna to fall back due to lack of fixed defence positions, Perera was appointed Overall Operations Commander (North) and was tasked with countering the LTTE offensive, along with Major General (now Lt. General) Sarath Fonseka who was appointed Security Forces Commander, Jaffna [ [http://www.sundaytimes.lk/000423/sitrep.html Censor batters battle report, Situation report, Sundaytimes] ] . During this time there were fears in Colombo that the 40,000 troops in the Jaffna peninsula would be cut off, trapped, and overrun. President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga negotiated with the Indian government for ships to evacuate troops from the peninsula due to the lack of transport ships in the Navy. However, the Indian government refused to provide ships. Launching several effective counter-offensives that halted the LTTE advance, removing the threat to the Jaffna peninsula and succeeded in established the current defense line in the Jaffna peninsula.

Major General Janaka Perera was appointed as Chief of Staff of the army in 2000 but retired in 2001 when he was overlooked for promotion to Army Commander, causing him to retire in 2001 [ [http://www.nation.lk/2007/08/19/politics5.htm Maj. Janaka Perera’s Politics] nation.lk] .

He had the unique distinction of being the Colonel Commandant of the Commando Regiment, Special Forces Regiment and the Corps of Sri Lanka Engineers. Major General Janaka Perera had been awarded the gallantry medals Rana Wickrama Padakkama and Rana Sura Padakkama, the distinguished service medal the Vishista Seva Vibhushanaya, long serive medals Uttama Seva Padakkama, Sri Lanka Armed Services Long Service Medal, combat service medals Purna Bhumi Padakkama, North and East Operations Medal the campaign medals Vadamarachchi Operation Medal and the Riviresa Campaign Services Medal and also the Republic of Sri Lanka Armed Services Medal, 50th Independence Anniversary Medal 1998, Sri Lanka Army 50th Anniversary Medal and President's Inauguration Medal.

Commander of Northern Armies; General Officer of Sri Lanka Army
"If they ever tell my story, let them say that I walked with giants. Men rise and fall like the winter wheat, but these names will never die. Let them say that I lived in the time of Hector, tamer of horses. Let them say I lived in the time of Achilles.... - Troy"

Let them say that I lived in the time of General Janaka Perera...

Diplomatic career

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.

;Accusation of war crimeAfter he was appointed Sri Lanka's High Commissioner to Australia, the Tamil community there accused him of being responsible for hundreds of deaths and the torture of Tamils in the Jaffna peninsula when he was in command. About 300 Tamils protested outside the Australian parliament accusing General Perera of war crimes. The human rights group Amnesty International raised similar concerns [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/7653945.stm] . However, no formal charges were ever brought against General Perera and he served his full four years as Sri Lankan High Commissioner in Australia, after which he was Sri Lankan Ambassador to Indonesia.

Political career

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). [ [http://www.island.lk/2008/06/23/news4.html Janaka vows to take NCP, by Percy Kuruneru our Anuradhapura, The Island] ] [http://www.thesundayleader.lk/20080629/editorial-.htm Can Janaka Deliver?] ]

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 became the opposition leader Provincial Council.


Janaka Perera married Vajira Silva in 1982, she was one of the first six lady officers to join the Sri Lanka Army Women's Corps after training at the Women's Royal Army Corps College in 1980 [ [http://www.dailynews.lk/2008/10/07/news12.asp Vajira - One of the first six to join Army Women’s Corps] dailynews.lk] . She came from a military family, her brother Lieutenant Upul de Silva being KIA. Janaka and Vajira Perera had four children Janik, Janukshi, Shehara and Ashanka. [ [http://www.dailynews.lk/2008/10/09/main_Obituaries.asp Obituaries] ]


Janaka Perera and his wife were killed by a suspected suicide bomb blast on October 6, 2008 in Anuradhapura. The bombing which occurred at the United National Party office near the Old Bus Stand in Anuradhapura killed about 27 while injuring 90, the dead included 4 UNP provincial councilors and former Sri Lankan Ambassador and UNP party manager in Anuradhapura Dr John Pulle and his wife. [ [http://www.defence.lk/new.asp?fname=20081006_05 Over 25 civilians including Maj Gen Janaka Perera killed in LTTE suicide bomb attack- Anuradhapura] defence.lk] The government blamed the attack on the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/7653945.stm Suicide blast hits Sri Lanka town] bbc.co.uk] . The UNP and opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe has asked for an international investigation [ [http://www.island.lk/2008/10/08/news2.html Govt’s denial of security caused Janaka’s death - Ranilby Wijitha Nakkawita and Lakshmi de Silva] ] . [ [http://www.sundaytimes.lk/cms/article10.php?id=1409 Ranil calls for intrnational probe on Monday's suicide attack] ] and accused the United People's Freedom Alliance government for not providing adequate security for the General, who had to ask the Supreme Court for protection during the provincial council election when the government candidate was given security and he was not. [ [http://www.island.lk/2008/07/21/news3.html Janaka rejects police bodyguards Firmly believes in military victory against LTTE, The Island] ]

ee also

*Sri Lankan Non Career Diplomats


External links

* [http://www.lankaweb.com/news/items01/080601-1.html Major General Janaka Perera's Vital Importance to Sri Lanka]
* [http://www.lankanewspapers.com/news/2006/12/10473_space.html Janaka Perera Recalled] lankanewspapers.com
* [http://www.spur.asn.au/SPUR_Media_Release_The_Jaffna_Debacle_12_May_2001.htm THE JAFFNA DEBACLE] spur.asn.au
* [http://www.nation.lk/2007/05/13/inter1.htm “I know nothing about politics” – Maj. Gen. Janaka Perera] nation.lk
* [http://www.srilankaguardian.org/2008/10/ge-janaka-perera-killed.html Perera killed] srilankaguardian.org
* [http://www.dailynews.lk/2008/10/10/fea02.asp Janaka the Committed Diplomat]

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