Former Army Commander General S. H. Shantha Kottegoda has been appointed as the new Secretary to the Ministry of Defense.The General received his letter of appointment from President Maithripala Sirisena at the Presidentâ€™s Office, this evening (29).
This is following the resignation of the former Defense Secretary Hemasiri Fernando after he was requested by the President over the failure to prevent the Easter Day bombing despite receiving prior warnings of a possible attack.
General Kottegoda, WWV, RWP, RSP, VSV, USP (born November 6, 1949) was a Sri Lankan Army officer and the Seventeenth Commander of the Sri Lankan Army from 1 July 2004 â€“ 5 December 2005. He was the former Sri Lankan Ambassador to Brazil and to Thailand.
Shantha Kottegoda has served the Sri Lankan Army for 29 years in throughout the island. He has been involved in both the 1971 and 1987â€“89 JVP Insurrection as well as the Sri Lankan Civil War, participating in major operations against the LTTE in the North and East of the country. Kottegoda has held numerous positions in the Army, among them he was Colonel of the Regiment of the Sri Lanka Light Infantry, General officer Commanding Division in Jaffna, General officer Commanding 51 Division in Vavuniya. He has been Director of Training, Director Military Intelligence and at present he is Director General, Training at Army Headquarters