Illustrious BATTLE-HARDENED OFFICER leads Volunteer Force – Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka), 21 Feb 2015
One of the Army’s most illustrious officers, Major General H.C.P. Goonetilleke appointed Commander of the Volunteer Force
Major General H.C.P. Goonetilleke RSP USP NDC PSC has been appointed the Commandant of the Sri Lanka Army Volunteer Force. One of Sri Lanka Army’s most respected officers Maj. Gen. Goonetilleke is mandated to bring the 70,000-strong Volunteer Force to the cutting-edge as part of an ambitious plan to modernise the Force known for its professional acumen. A battle-hardened officer with an illustrious and impeccable track record, Maj. Gen. Goonetilleke’s selection to the only appointment vested with executive authority besides the Commander of the Army is a clear indication of the government’s intention to transform the Volunteer Force into a professionallymanaged unit with a far-sighted vision. The Volunteer Force is a formidable part of the Army, and fought valiantly alongside the regular force of the Army throughout the 30-year conflict, playing a decisive role on many fronts. Maj. Gen. Goonetilleke is no stranger to the Volunteer Force, having led them in battle, notably in Mannar from 2006 to late 2008 in direct confrontations with the LTTE, successfully turning tables on the terrorist outfit.
Maj. Gen. Goonetilleke’s impressive long-term tenure in the Army has seen him assigned with many postings pivotal to the Army forays in the protracted war as well as in the post-war transformation of the Force. He has engaged explicitly in all aspects of national security. Some of the key appointments held by him include Security Force Commander (Central) and Military Secretary, Army Headquarters during the post conflict, Security Force Commander (Kilinochchi), General Officer Commanding of 56th Infantry Division and General Officer Commanding the Mannar area during the Humanitarian Operation from 2006 to 2009, Commander 551st Infantry Brigade, Commander 533rd Infantry Brigade, and Commanding Officer 7th Field Engineer Regiment during the high intensity counter insurgency operations. Incidentally, he has the rare distinction of raising both Security Force Headquarters; Kilinochchi in 2009 and Central in 2013. He was selected to raise and lead the Youth Corps which is a non-military organisation established by an act of Parliament in the year 2000 to groom the youth of Sri Lanka by imparting the necessary
A battle-hardened officer with an illustrious and impeccable track record, Maj. Gen. Goonetilleke’s selection to the only appointment vested with executive authority besides the Commander of the Army is a clear indication of the government’s intention to transform the Volunteer Force into a professionally-managed unit with a far-sighted vision.
leadership and vocational skills to compete in the national and international job market successfully.
Major General H.C.P. Goonetilleke enlisted in the Sri Lanka Army on August 31, 1981 having completed his primary and secondary education at St.Benedict’s College Colombo 13 and Royal College Colombo 7. He followed the Basic Officer Cadet Course at the Sri Lanka Military Academy, Diyatalawa, passing out as the Best All Round Officer Cadet winning the Sword of Honour. He was commissioned in the Corps of Engineers as a Second Lieutenant on July 17, 1982. He is a graduate of the Defence Services Command and Staff College, Bangladesh and National Defence College, Pakistan. He holds a Master’s Degree in Defence and Strategic Studies from the National Defence University, Pakistan. He was conferred with the HR Leadership Award at the Asia Pacific Human Resource Management Congress Awards 2014.