Admiral Ravindra C. Wijegunaratne
WV, RWP & Bar, RSP, VSV, USP, ndc,
Chief of Defence Staff
Admiral Ravindra (Ravi)
Wijegunaratne was educated at the Royal College, Colombo 7.
He has won 'Navodaya' scholarship in studies and was a
President Scout, Corporal of College Cadet Platoon which won
Hermann Loos Trophy in 1980 and a member of the College
Hockey and Athletics team.
He joined the Sri Lanka
Navy as an officer cadet of the 9th Intake on 01st November
1980 at the age of 18. He underwent basic training at the
Naval and Maritime Academy, Trincomalee and at the
prestigious Britannia Royal Naval College (BRNC), Dartmouth,
UK. He was the recipient of the "Best International
Midshipman" award at the BRNC, Dartmouth in year 1982. He is
specialized in Anti Submarine Warfare and is a qualified
diver, paratrooper, and Special Forces person.
His last sea command was
SLNS Sayura (Offshore Patrol Vessel), the Flag Ship of the
Sri Lanka Navy. The other key appointments he has held
during his unblemished naval career of 35 years are:
Commandant Naval & Maritime Academy, Flag Officer Commanding
Naval Fleet, First Secretary and Defence Adviser of the Sri
Lanka High Commission in New Delhi- India, Director Naval
Operations when LTTE floating armouries were destroyed
(2006-2007), Special Forces, and Maritime Surveillance,
Commander Southern, Western, Northern, and Eastern Naval
Areas, Director General of the Sri Lanka Coast Guard and
Chief of Staff.
Prior to assume duties as
the Chief of Defence Staff, the senior most military
position in Sri Lanka, on 22nd August 2017, he commanded the
Sri Lanka Navy from 11th July 2015.
Admiral Wijegunaratne is
the senior most Special Forces naval officer who was
instrumental in forming the Sri Lanka Navy's Special Forces
element known as the Special Boat Squadron (SBS) which
contributed immensely during the conflict period. He also
introduced the Marines element to the Sri Lanka Navy. He
commanded this elite unit twice in his career and has led a
number of SBS operations behind the enemy lines and
amphibious operations including the famous 'Pooneryn
Operation' in 1993.
He had also fought
alongside the Indian Navy Marine Commandos (MARCOS) during
'Operation Pawan' in the Jaffna Lagoon in 1988 and awarded
gallantry medal for his bravery.
Admiral Wijegunaratne is a
highly decorated senior naval officer with four gallantry
medals for his act of bravery and valour. He is a recipient
of 'Weerodhara Vibushanaya', the highest gallantry medal in
Sri Lanka for non-military nature, 'Rana Wickrama Padakkama'
awarded twice for individual gallantry in the face of the
enemy and 'Rana Sura Padakkama' for collective gallantry in
the face of the enemy.
He was also awarded with 'Vishista
Seva Vibhushanaya' (VSV) and 'Uththama Seva Padakkama' USP)
for his unblemished and exemplary naval career.
He earned his BSc (Hons)
degree in War Studies from the Karachchi University,
Pakistan in 1996 and MPhil in Defence and Strategic Studies
(First Class pass) from the University of Madras in India in
He is also an alumni of
the National Defence University, Washington DC, USA (NESA
Center). He is widely known as an expert in "Asymmetric
Naval Warfare" and "Small Boat Operations".
He was an outstanding
sportsman and has won Navy Colours for Rugby Football,
Sailing, and Rowing. He was a top marksman who represented
the Navy team and was the President of the National Rifle
Association. Presently he is the President of the Naval Golf
He is married to Yamuna De
Saram, who was Miss Sri Lanka 1989 and blessed with a 24
year old son, Satyajith.