President appoints new regional commander for Jaffna

[TamilNet, Friday, 21 November 2003, 09:26 GMT]
Major General Paramee Kulatunga has been appointed as the new Jaffna regional commander of the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) replacing the incumbent Major General Sarath Fonseka. Major General Sarath Fonseka has been put in charge of the SLA Volunteer Corp, in a shake up in the Sri Lanka military establishment made by the President, military sources said Friday.

Major General Shantha Kottegoda is the new Chief of Staff of the SLA with immediate effect. He replaces Major Genera Lohan Gunawardene who retired last week. Major General Chula Seneviratne is the new Deputy Chief of Staff, military sources said.

Mr.Tilak Marapone issued a gazette notification last year in the capacity of the Defense Minister enabling seven Major Generals who had reached their mandatory three year period of service in the ranks of Major General to continue in service until 55 if they had not reached the retirement age by then. A similar gazette notification was issued by the then Defense Minister in the month of October extending the same concessions to those holding equivalent ranks in the Navy and the Air Force.

The Supreme Court on November 5 made a ruling on an application made by the President Ms Chandrika Kumaratunge that the Defense Minister has no power to issue such gazette notifications. Hence the extension given to seven Major Generals Lohan Gunawardene, Shantha Kottegoda, Chula Seneviratne, Sarath Fonseka, Susil Chandrapala, Nanda Mallawaarachchi and Sisira Wijesinghe had been had become null and void, legal sources said.

However the President has given new appointments to two of the seven military officials, Major General Shantha Kottegoda and Major General Sarath Fonseka, military sources said.

 

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