The President has decided to appoint Rear Admiral Jayanath Sirikumara Colomboage as the new Navy Commander, sources from the Navy said. Current Navy Commander Somathileka Dissanayake who is to retire from the service from the 26th has been promoted as Admiral.
First Lady Shiranthi Rajapaksa had put pressure on the President to appoint Colombage to fill the post of Navy Commander after Dissanayake’s retirement. It is learnt that Catholic priests have asked the First Lady to ensure that Colombage is appointed as the Navy Commander at least for a short period.
Rear Admiral Colombage would have had to retire from the service if he was not appointed as the Navy Commander. Therefore, Colombage has been appointed as the Navy Commander following the request made by the Catholic priests from the First Lady.
The President has decided to limit Colombage’s period as Navy Commander and is to appoint one of the First Lady’s relatives, Rear Admiral Maximus Perera to the post afterwards.
It is now a well known secret that the administrative work of the Sri Lanka Navy is being handled by the First Lady.
Shiranthi Rajapaksa’s father was a senior officer in the Navy and she has openly said that although qualified he was not appointed as the Navy Commander because he was a Catholic.
Shiranthi Rajapaksa is determined that her son, Yoshitha Rajapaksa would be appointed to the post of Navy Commander that her father missed.
Colombage is being appointed as the Navy Commander after he had assured that he would ensure Yoshitha’s future in the Navy.
However, after learning that the President has decided to appoint Colombage as the Navy Commander, the most senior Navy officer, Rear Admiral Thusith Malinga Bandara Weerasekera has decided to retire from the force, sources from the Navy headquarters said. He has decided to retire when he could continue in the active service for another one year period.