Former Defence Secretary General (Retd.) Cyril Ranatunga VSV rcds psc has passed away. Born in 1930 he was a product of St Sylvester’s College Kandy.

Joining the Ceylon Army in 1950 and received his officer training at Royal Military Academy Sandhurst.

On his return he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant. Later he was transferred to the 1st Reconnaissance Regiment which grew into the Ceylon Armoured Corps.

He underwent training at British Army Armoured Center, Bovington. He was a Lieutenant Colonel when the 1971 Insurrection started and he was appointed the Military Coordinating Officer of the Kegalle District, where he effectively subdued the insurgency.

He attended the Staff College, Camberley and the Royal College of Defence Studies. In 1983, he retired from the army as a Brigadier after serving as Chief of Staff from the Sri Lanka Army. He became a director of the Airport and Aviation Services.

He was recalled from retirement in 1985 and promoted to the rank of Lieutenant General, to serve as the General Officer Commanding, Joint Operations Command which had been formed early that year under the command of General Tissa Weeratunga. His tenure saw large scale offensives against the LTTE such as the Vadamarachchi Operation.

In 1988, he became the only officer to be promoted to the rank of General without ever being appointed as the Commander of the Army. General Ranatunga is one of the top military officers Sri Lanka ever produced. General Cyril Ranatunga VSV, rcds, psc, was the first General Officer Commanding the Joint Operations Command. He was given this appointment after he retired as Chief of Staff from the Sri Lanka Army.

He was later appointed as the Secretary to theministry of defence by then President Ranasinghe Premadasa.

He also served as the Sri Lankan High Commissioner to Australia and the United Kingdom.

Archbishop Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith has requested the government to give concessions to the people affected by the fuel price hike and the environmental disaster caused by the sinking ship off the Colombo Port.

The Archbishop has said, the government should take meaningful steps to protect the poor masses from further difficulties caused by loss of employment due to the present situation in the country. Emphasizing the need to look into the problems of the fisherfolk in the Western Province, the Archbishop states, the harm caused to the marine life due to the fire-ravaged ship was incalculable.

At a time when the Covid pandemic is rampant and has put the people in serious difficulty, it is not prudent to increase the prices of fuel. However, if a price hike is essential, then the government should consider giving concessions to the people who use fuel on a day to day basis to engage in their employment. The statement said that the fisher folk in the Western province are sensitive to the severity of the issues prevailing in the country. The Archbishop also reminded the authorities that the previous governments in power granted special concessions to the fisherfolk when the fuel prices increased, and hence proposed that the government devise a mechanism to salvage the fisherfolk from the difficult situation they are facing.


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