Hon. Ranil Wickremesinghe, the President and Commander - in - Chief of the Armed Forces of Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka appointed Vice Admiral Priyantha Perera, RSP **, USP, ndu, psc, as the 25th Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy on 18th December 2022, after being elevated him to the rank of three-star Admiral.
Vice Admiral Priyantha Perera is a proud product of the Royal College, Colombo. He joined the Sri Lanka Navy in the Executive Branch in 1987 as an Officer Cadet of the 05th Intake of the General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University. He was awarded the ‘Sword of Honour’ for the best in the batch upon successful completion of naval training from the Naval and Maritime Academy, Trincomalee. He was commissioned in the rank of Acting Sub Lieutenant in 1989 and graduated from the General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University with a Bachelor of Arts Degree (Defence Studies) with honours.
In pursuing academics, he has completed a Post Graduate Diploma in International Relations at Bandaranaike Centre for International Studies and has also been conferred with a Master’s in Science Degree (Defence Studies) in Management from the General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University. He also holds a Master’s Degree of Maritime Policy with Distinctions from the University of Wollongong, Australia. Additionally, in pursuing of professional progress he has obtained specialization in Clearance Diving from the Indian Naval Diving Training School and in Principle Warfare from the Pakistan Navy. He is an alumnus of the US Naval War College, from where he has passed the US Naval Staff Course, and National Defence University of People’s Liberation Army, People’s Republic of China, having attended Defence and Strategic Studies Course in 2018-19 and conferred with a Master of Military Sciences Strategic Studies.
He has rendered more than thirty-five years of distinguished service to the Sri Lanka Navy with a reputation of a dedicated, professionally competent and an inspiring leader. His illustrious career has been enriched with vast experience in the Sri Lanka Navy, in various capacities and the officer has held command at sea and earned victories in battle as a Squadron Commander in the prestigious 4th Fast Attack Flotilla, the teeth arm of the Sri Lanka Navy fleet, as well as a Group Commander in the Special Boat Squadron at the height of the looming terrorist activities. He is also one of the Commanding Officers who led the Special Boat Squadron of the Navy and has been the Officer in Charge of Naval Diving and Salvage Unit, spearheading some crucial salvage work. At sea he has commanded a series of Fast Attack Craft, Fast Gun Boats, Landing Craft, Fast Passenger Craft, Sa’ar 4 Class Fast Missile Vessel and his last command at sea has been SLNS Sagara, an Offshore Patrol Vessel.
His key shore appointments include the Commandant SLNS Shiksha, the main recruit training center of SLN, Director Naval Training, Director Naval Operations, Director Naval Foreign Cooperation, Director Maritime Special Forces, Head of the Naval Research Wing, Deputy Area Commander North Central Naval Area, Commander Southern Naval Area, Commander Northern Naval Area, Deputy Chief of Staff and finally as the Chief of Staff of the Sri Lanka Navy.
Vice Admiral Priyantha Perera is a recipient of Rana Soora Padakkama (RSP) thrice for conspicuous display of gallantry in combat and Uttama Seva Padakkama (USP) for unblemished service and devotion to duty. The senior officer has been commended by former Commanders of the Navy eight times for his leadership and professional conduct in challenging circumstances and tasks.
His prowess in sports is very versatile ranging from aquatic sports of swimming, water polo, windsurfing, kayaking and speed boating to adventure, cycling, musketry, fencing and archery among other things. He holds the record of being the first to circumnavigate Sri Lanka in a sea kayak and formerly held office as General Secretary of National Association of Canoeing and Kayaking in Sri Lanka, working diligently to promote paddle sport in the country. He is also an International Technical Official in Canoe Sprint and Dragon Boat discipline of International Canoe Federation and a qualified level one coach in canoeing
Vice Admiral Priyantha Perera is married to Mrs. Mala Lamahewa and they are blessed with two sons Sachith (24) and Shamal (21).