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New Jaffna Commander to assume duties today
[03 August 2000]

Major General Anton Wijendra is to assume duties today as Security Forces Commander of Jaffna, military sources revealed. 

The following is a profile of the new Jaffna Commander released by the Special Media Information Centre yesterday:

Maj. Gen. A. E. D. Wijendra joined the Sri Lanka Army as an officer cadet in Feb 1970 and on completion of training at the Army Training Centre Diyatalawa was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the 1st Field Regiment of the Sri Lanka Engineers. Having completed several specialised training courses, in Military Engineering at the College of Military Engineering in Pune, India and Mechanical Engineering in Japan, he served in his regiment as a troop commander and a squadron commander in command of Engineer detachments engaged in national construction projects connected with the Mahaweli Development Scheme. He was also the Adjutant of the Regiment and served as ADC to the then Commander of the Army Maj. Gen. J. E. D. Perera VSV. As a Major he was placed in command of troops deployed on counter insurgency in Vavuniya in 1984/1985. 

Maj. Gen. Wijendra is a graduate of the Army Command and Staff College Mirpur, Bangladesh and a honours graduate of the US Army Engineer School Fort Belvoir USA. 

He served as General Staff Officer grade 2 (Operations), in Security Force Headquarters Jaffna during the period when the Indian Peace Keeping Force arrived in Jaffna in 1987. He later served as General Staff Officer grade 1 (Operations) at the same Headquarters and later in 1 Division Headquarters in Panagoda. 

In 1989 he was appointed the Commanding Officer of the Cadet Training Wing, Sir John Kotelawala Defence Academy. He Commended the 6 Field Regiment employed on the Infantry role in Idaikaddu, Jaffna in 1990. 

As the Brigade Commander of 9 Brigade from 1990 to 1993 he conducted several successful operations to expand the defended area in Palaly. 

In 1991, under the late Generals Kobbekaduwa and Wimalaratne, he commanded 3 Brigade in Operation Balawegaya 1 the largest amphibious operation conducted by Sri Lankan Security Forces, to relieve the besieged Elephant Pass camp. He also commanded a brigade in the successful Operation Balawegaya 2 to link Elephant Pass with Veththilaikerni. 

Maj. Gen. Wijendra was appointed Commandant of the Sri Lanka Military Academy in 1993. He served as deputy General Office Commanding 52 Division in Operation Riviresa conducted to capture Jaffna, and later became the Military Secretary at Army Headquarters. He was brigade commander of 3 Bde in Batticaloa in 1996. In 1997 he served as the General Officer Commanding 55 Division in Operation Jayasikuru before being appointed as the General Officer Commanding 3 Division in the east. He has been decorated twice for gallantry and awarded the Uthama Seva Padakkama for distinguished service. 

In 1997 he was appointed the first Commandant of the Army Command and Staff College. Whilst conducting the second staff course he was selected to follow the prestigious National Defence Course in Pakistan in September 1999. On his return having successfully completed the course in July 2000 he was appointed as Security Forces Commander (Wanni) before being appointed as Security Forces Commander (Jaffna).

Maj. Gen. Wijendra holds a Master of Science Degree in Strategic and Defence Studies from the Quaid-I-Azam University Pakistan.

Maj. Gen. Wijendra captained the Army Practical Pistol Shooting Team which won the Championships for several years. He was awarded Army Colours and Laurels for shooting. He won the Presidents Cup for The Champion Pistol Shot in the Defence Services and the Police in 1982. He is an old Josephian.

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