President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga has appointed Vice Admiral Daya Sandagiri as the Commander of the Navy with effect from January 1, 2001, who will succeed Vice Admiral Cecil Tissera as the 14th Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy.
He has 34 years in the Navy and thus will become the most experienced officer ever to assume the high Command of the Navy in its 50 year history.
He is also the first Lankan Naval Officer to attend Post Graduate Studies at the prestigious Royal College of Defence Studies in the United Kingdom. The Vice Admiral holds a masters Degree in Defence Studies. He is also a fellow of the Institute of Management, United Kingdom.
Born and bred in Veyangoda, Vice Admiral Sandagiri had his education at St. Mary's Maha Vidyalaya, Veyangoda and Kegalle Maha Vidyalaya.
He was enlisted in the then Royal Ceylon Navy on 14th November 1966 and was in the first batch of Naval Cadets to join the renowned Naval and Maritime Academy in Trincomalee on July 1, 1969.
He was commissioned as a Sub Lieutenant in the Executive Branch on 1st July 1973. On successful completion of his professional training in Sri Lanka, he was sent to INS Valsura in India for the Sub Lieutenant Technical Course in 1971 and to INS Venduruthy in India for specialisation in Gunnery in 1975. Later, he graduated from the Defence Staff College in India in 1984.
He had the honour of functioning as the Commandant of the Naval and Maritime Academy. He had the distinction of serving as the Area Commander of the Northern, Eastern, Western and Southern Commands of the Navy for over four years.
His first assignment afloat was on board RCyNS Gajabahu, the Flagship of the Navy in 1971. As a seagoing officer he has hold numerous billets aboard Naval Ships till 1989 and his sea career culminated with the appointment on board SLNS Wickrama as the Commanding Officer and Surveillance Command Squadron Commander.
He also served on board the Ceylon Shipping Corporation's merchant vessel Lanka Kanthi and Ceylon Petroleum Corporation's Motor Tanker Mahaweli.
He has been promoted to the rank of Commander on 1st January 1985 and held key staff appointments including Staff Intelligence Officer and Deputy Director Naval Operations at Headquarters. Later, he was elevated to the ranks of Captain and Commodore on 1st April 1989 and 1st March 1994 respectively.
Vice Admiral Sandagiri also had the rare distinction of being appointed as the Director Naval Operations by four Navy Commanders in succession, Vice Admiral Asoka de Silva, Admiral Ananda Silva, Admiral Clancy Fernando and Admiral Mohan Samarasekera. He was appointed as the Chief of Staff on 1st April 1998 and was promoted Rear Admiral on 8th March 1997.
Vice Admiral Sandagiri was awarded the prestigious Vishista Seva Vibhushanya in 1999. Among the other medals awarded are Utthama Seva Padakkama, Republic of Sri Lanka Armed Services Medal, Sri Lanka Navy 50th Anniversary Medal, Sri Lanka Armed Services Long Service Medal, President's Inauguration Medal, 50th Independence Anniversary Commemoration Medal, North and East Operations Medal, Purna Bhoomi Padakkama, Vadamarachchi Operation Medal and Riviresa Campaign Service Medal.
Vice Admiral Sandagiri married Pearl in 1974 and is a father of two sons.
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