During 1980s 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.
|Maj Gen||HNW Dias RWP RSP VSV USP ndc IG|
|Maj Gen||KJC Perera RWP RSP VSV USP rcds psc|
|Maj Gen||LP Balagalla VSV USP ndc IG|
|Maj Gen||SHS Kottegoda RWP RSP USP|
|Maj Gen||PSP Munasinghe RWP RSP USP|
|Maj Gen||NR Marambe RSP USP psc|
|Maj Gen||GBW Jayasundara RWP RSP|
|Maj Gen||TTR De Silva RWP RSP USP psc|
|Brig||SG Karunaratne RWP RSP psc|
|Maj Gen||WUB Edirisinghe|
|Maj Gen||UBL Fernando RWP RSP psc|
|Maj Gen||P Pannipitiya RSP USP|
|Maj Gen||LBR Mark RSP USP|
|Maj Gen||SM De A Rajapakse RWP RSP Ldmc ndu|
|Brig||PWB Jayasundara USP psc USACGSC IG|
|Brig||MKD Perera RWP RSP USP|
|Brig||KLAS Wijesinghe RSP psc IG|
|Maj Gen||NJ Walgama RSP USP psc|
|Brig||AP de Z Wickramaratne RWP ndu psc|
|Brig||DMDCD Gunawardana psc|
|Brig||BWDP Abeynayake USP|
|Brig||M KD Perera RWP RSP USP ndu|
|Brig||SK Thirunavukarasu USP|
|Maj Gen||CP Gallage WWV RWP RSP USP USAWC|
|Maj Gen||MMS Perera psc|
|Maj Gen||AWMPR Seneviratne RSP VSV USP ndu IG|
|Maj Gen||BAL Ratnayake|
Major General BAL Ratnayake
Genaral Officer Commanding
Major General Lalith Ratnayake assumed duties as General Officer Commanding - 51 Division on 26 June 2019. He is a proud product of Vidyarathna University College Horana. He enlisted to Sri Lanka Army Regular Force in year 1986. After successful completion of military training at the Kotelawala Defence Academy in Ratmalana from 04 June 1986 to 17 June 1988, he was commissioned in the rank of Second Lieutenant and was posted to 4th Sri Lanka Sinha Regiment on 17 June 1988.
During his illustrated and long military career he has served in Command, Staff and Instructional appointments at various levels, which include all command appointments up to General Officer Commanding in Infantry Division, Staff positions in Field Formations, Army Headquarters. A career in which he shouldered key responsibilities, all of which he has fulfilled to perfection.
He has hold command appointments as the Platoon Command, Signal Officer, Officer Commanding, Adjutant, Over Looking Second in Command of 4th Sri Lanka Sinha Regiment. Second in Command of 8th Sri Lanka Sinha Regiment, Commanding Officer of 9th Sri Lanka Sinha Regiment. Not only that, but also has commanded several Field Formations as Officiating Brigade Commander 512 and 513 Brigades, Brigade Commander of 213 Brigade and presently holding the appointment as the General Officer Commanding - 51 Infantry Division.
Further, he has hold many staff appointment in Field formations and other military establishment namely Staff Officer II at Dte of Welfare and Staff Officer at Log Command, General Staff Officer I (Operations) at 55 Division, Colonel General Staff at 22 Division, Brigadier General Staff at the Security Force Headquarters (East), Centre Commandant in Sri Lanka Sinha Regiment and Sri Lanka Army Medical Corps and Deputy Director of National Cadet Corps as well.
He had an opportunity to enhance his knowledge by having number of overseas courses such as Infantry Young Officers' Course, MCC Course and OAL & FE Course in Pakistan, Military Observe Course at Greece, Senior Command Course at India and finally he attended to Brigade/Regiment Commander Program at China.