Written by Zulfick Farzan
28 Dec, 2020 | 10:10 pm
Colombo (News 1st); Defence Secretary Major General (Retired) Kamal Gunaratne was promoted to the rank of four star General on Monday (28) by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.
General (Retd) G.D.H. Kamal Gunaratne, having a distinguished military career of over 35 years and holding many key appointments in all areas of Defence and Civil – Military Coordination, assumed duties as the Secretary of Defence Ministry on November 20, 2019.
Being a decorated soldier, he was the Master General Ordinance at Army Headquarters from 2015 to 2016. General (Retd) Gunaratne, who was the General Officer Commanding of the 53 Division from April 2008 to July 2009, commanded his troops during the Humanitarian Operation of the final phase of the Eelam War IV, which completely annihilated the 30-years of terrorism by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) on May 19. He also served as the Commander, Security Forces Headquarters (SF HQ) Wanni.
General (Retd) Gunaratne had served as the Deputy Ambassador in Brazil from 2012 to 2015.
After retiring from active military service in 2016, he held top posts in the private sector and has authored books based on his 35-year experience in the military.
A past student of Dharmapala Vidyalaya, Pannipitiya and Ananda College, Colombo, General (Retd) Gunaratne joined the Sri Lanka Army as an Officer Cadet in August, 1981.
After completing the basic military training and a commando course, he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant of the Rajarata Rifles in December, 1982 and was one of the initial officers of the newly formed Gajaba Regiment (GR) following the disbandment of the Rajarata Rifles.
He served as a Platoon Commander, Company Commander in the Gajaba Regiment and was subsequently promoted to the ranks of Lieutenant and Captain.
In 1987, he took part in the Vadamarachchi Operation. In 1990, he was the Officer Commanding of the Mankulam Army Camp when it came under intense LTTE attacks. In the same year, he was promoted to the rank of Major and subsequently appointed as the Second in Command of the 6th Battalion of the Gajaba Regiment.
General (Retd) Gunaratne was the Commanding Officer of the Silawathura Army Camp, which came under siege by the LTTE but was able to successfully hold on to the camp amidst stiff LTTE fire for several days, before the 6 GR was relieved by reinforcements. After returning from operational duties, he was transferred to Army Headquarters as a Grade II Staff Officer in the Directorate of Logistics.
In 1994, having been promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, he took the command of the 6th GR, which fought in the Operation Riviresa. Thereafter, he was appointed as a Grade I Staff Officer at Joint Services Operational Headquarters, coordinating the Operation Jayasikuru.
He also held many command positions such as GOC 53 Division while overlooking as GOC 55 Division and Colonel of the Regiment of the Special Forces (SF), Gajaba Regiment and the Mechanized Infantry Regiment.
He did his MPhil at the University of Madras and obtained Masters in Art and Science of Warfare from the University of Baluochistan
General (Retd) Gunaratne has been awarded with several Gallantry Awards, Distinguished Service Medals, Campaign Medals and Service Medals for his acts of bravery and exceptional acts of valour in the battlefield. He is the recipient of the following medals.
General (Retd) Gunaratne is a prolific writer who has penned a number of books based on his experience in the military.
26 Feb, 2021 | 12:07 PM
26 Feb, 2021 | 04:03 AM
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