During 1980 various terrorist organizations initiated communal riots in the Jaffna peninsula out of whom Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam was appeared to be stronger and that dominated the Jaffna town. As a result the civil administration of the Jaffna became unstable. It forced the Sri Lankan Government to go for a Military movement and hence established 51 Infantry Division in order to launch the RIVIRESA operation to regain the control of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam foremost strong hold Jaffna. After successfully completion of the operation, 51 Division was established in the Jaffna town and created a peaceful environment for the Tamil community in Jaffna by improving the livelihood of the people and involving the nation building programs.
In accordance with the concept of the Commander Security Force Jaffna Major General M Hathurusinghe RSP ndc IG, 51 Division was re-deployed in KOPAY on 04th March 2011. The 51 Division became the first permanent Army Camp in the Jaffna peninsula after termination of the three decades long war and made to the history by then Commander of Sri Lanka Army General J Jayasuriya RWP USP ndu psc. The 51 Division AOR is located in Jaffna Administrative District consisting 328.7 km2 of land area.
51 Division was inaugurated with the command of Brigadier HNW Dais RWP RSP USP IG and it has been commanded by 27 commanders. It’s consisting with 04 Brigades affiliating with the 08 Battalions to provide security of the Jaffna area in order to maintain the normalcy. Following senior officers have served as the General Officer Commanders during the past history that expands over twenty four years.
FORMER GENERAL OFFICERS COMMANDING
|Maj Gen||HNW Dias RWP RSP VSV USP ndc IG||24.08.1995||12.09.1996|
|Maj Gen||KJC Perera RWP RSP VSV USP rcds psc||13.09.1996||23.12.1996|
|Maj Gen||LP Balagalla VSV USP ndc IG||24.12.1996||19.11.1997|
|Maj Gen||SHS Kottegoda RWP RSP USP||20.11.1997||16.07.1998|
|Maj Gen||PSP Munasinghe RWP RSP USP||17.07.1998||06.11.1998|
|Maj Gen||NR Marambe RSP USP psc||07.11.1998||14.01.2000|
|Maj Gen||GBW Jayasundara RWP RSP||15.01.2000||03.10.2001|
|Maj Gen||TTR De Silva RWP RSP USP psc||04.10.2001||16.01.2004|
|Brig||SG Karunaratne RWP RSP psc||17.01.2004||22.05.2004|
|Maj Gen||WUB Edirisinghe||23.05.2004||07.09.2004|
|Maj Gen||UBL Fernando RWP RSP psc||08.09.2004||01.01.2005|
|Maj Gen||P Pannipitiya RSP USP||02.01.2005||20.12.2005|
|Maj Gen||LBR Mark RSP USP||21.12.2005||01.09.2008|
|Maj Gen||SM De A Rajapakse RWP RSP Ldmc ndu||02.09.2008||13.11.2008|
|Brig||PWB Jayasundara USP psc USACGSC IG||14.11.2008||08.08.2009|
|Brig||MKD Perera RWP RSP USP||09.08.2009||16.02.2010|
|Brig||KLAS Wijesinghe RSP psc IG||17.02.2010||30.07.2010|
|Maj Gen||NJ Walgama RSP USP psc||31.07.2010||09.09.2011|
|Brig||AP de Z Wickramaratne RWP ndu psc||10.09.2011||20.08.2012|
|Brig||DMDCD Gunawardana psc||21.08.2012||27.05.2013|
|Brig||BWDP Abeynayake USP||28.05.2013||12.08.2014|
|Brig||M KD Perera RWP RSP USP ndu||13.08.2014||28.10.2014|
|Brig||SK Thirunavukarasu USP||14.10.2014||11.01.2015|
|Maj Gen||CP Gallage WWV RWP RSP USP USAWC||12.06.2015||04.02.2016|
|Maj Gen||MMS Perera psc||05.02.2016||02.01.2018|
|Maj Gen||AWMPR Seneviratne RSP VSV USP ndu IG||03.01.2018||26.06.2019|
|Maj Gen||BAL Ratnayake||26.06.2019||30.09.2020|
|Maj Gen||KPS Premalal RWP RSP USP - SLA||01.10.2020||31.03.2021|
|Maj Gen||DMKDB Pussella RWP RSP||31.03.2021||26.10.2021|
|Maj Gen||MGWWWMCB Wickramasinghe RWP RSP ndu psc MA (IR)||27.10.2021||05.06.2022|
|Maj Gen||KAA Udaya Kumara RSP USP USAWC psc||07.06.2022||06.10.2022|
|Maj Gen||SWM Fernando WWV RWP RSP USP ndc psc||07.10.2022||14.12.2022|
|Maj Gen||SWB Welagedara RSP USP ndc||15.12.2022||Up to Date|
Major General SWB Welagedara RSP USP ndc
General Officer Commanding
51 Infantry Division
Major General SWB Welagedara RSP USP ndc joined the Sri Lanka Army in 1988 after completing his primary and secondary education from Dharmaraja College - Kandy. After his successful completion of the basic military training at Sri Lanka Military Academy - Diyatalawa, he was commissioned in the rank of Second Lieutenant and posted to 4th Battalion the Gemunu Watch as a Platoon Commander. He has also served as a Company Commander in 4th and 12th Battalions the Gemunu Watch and was appointed as the Second in Command in 7th Battalion the Gemunu Watch.
Major General SWB Welagedara led 8th Battalion the Gemunu `Watch during the peak of the Humanitarian Operation. The great leadership that he displayed was an immense contribution to eradicating separatist terrorism from the motherland. Moreover, he has performed his duties in the following staff and command appointments during his illustrated military carrier:
General Staff Officer 1 (Operations) - Security Forces Headquarters (Wanni) at Vavuniya, Commanding Officer - 8th Battalion the Gemunu Watch, Colonel (Vol) Coord - Regimental Headquarters Gemunu Watch, General Staff Officer 1 (Operations) - Regimental Headquarters Gemunu Watch, Colonel General Staff - 62 Infantry Division at Welioya, Colonel General Staff - 64 Infantry Division at Kalyanpura, Colonel (MS)(V) - Headquarters Sri Lanka Army Volunteer Force, Brigade Commander - 612 Infantry Brigade, Center Commandant - Regimental Headquarters Military Intelligence Corps, Commandant - Centre for Army Vocational Training at Kalaoya, General Officer Commanding of 24 Infantry Division at Ampara.
At present, he is serving as the General Officer Commanding of 51 Infantry Division at Jaffna. In his long tour of duty, he has followed several training courses both locally and overseas.
Battalion Support Weapon Course, Unit Administration Course, Young Officers' Course - Local & Foreign, Regimental Signal Officer Course - India, Senior Command Course - India, National Defense Course - National Defense College.
He has actively participated in all the major operations conducted in North and East during 34 years of his service in Sri Lanka Army, Therefore, in appreciation of his bravery act and selfless dedication on the battlefield, he has been awarded 'Rana Sura Padakkama' and "Uththama Seva Padakkama" for his exceptional conducts. Further, he is a distinguished senior officer who has also gained the following medals in appreciation of his valued military career.
Purnabhumi Medal, North and East Operation Medal, Long Service Medal, Riviresa Campaign Service Medal, 50th Independence Anniversary Medal, Sri Lanka Army 50th Anniversary Medal, North Humanitarian Operation Medal, East Humanitarian Operation Medal, Sewabimani Padakkama.