Instructions for raising of the 55th Division were published ARO 117/96 ref SD / 51(149) dated 20th December 1996 in the view of increasing the fighting capacity of Sri Lanka Army during Operation ‘JAYASIKURU’ conducted in Wanni theater of operation. Duties of the newly raised 55 Division was took over by Brig SHS Kottegoda RWP RSP as the first General Officer Commanding. Meantime Brig NR Marambe USP psc was appointed as the Deputy General Officer Commanding and subsequently 551 Brigade, 552 Brigade and 553 Brigade were raised under the Division.
Up to date, the chain of Division was commanded by Generals & Brigadiers namely Brig AED Wijendra RSP USP psc, Maj Gen GSC Fonseka RSP psc, Brig MDS Chandrapala RSP USP psc, Brig TM Bohran RSP USP, Brig S Wanigasekara RWP RSP USP, Maj Gen SD Thennakoon RSP, Brig KJN Senaweera RSP USP Ldmc, Brig WUB Edirisinghe, Maj Gen VR Silva RSP USP IG, Maj Gen SG Karunarathne RWP RSP USP psc, Brig GDHK Gunarathne RWP RSP USP psc, Maj Gen PP De Silva WWV RWP RSP psc, Brig ALSK Perera RSP, Brig JR Kulatunga RSP psc, Brig BHMA Wijesinghe USP psc, Maj Gen A Kariyakarawana USP ndc, Brig SK Thirunavukarasu USP, Maj Gen MKD Perera RWP RSP USP ndu, Maj Gen NA Dharmarathne WWV RWP RSP ndc psc, Brig MASK Muhandiram RSP, Maj Gen HMJK Gunaratne WWV RWP RSP ndc psc and at presently by Maj Gen KNS Kotuwegoda ndc ndc IG is commanding the Division.
Before commencement of Humanitarian Operation on 22 Dec 2002, LTTE signed a peace agreement with then existed government. It aimed in making a political framework through dialogs to bring a lasting peace to the country. This paved the way for the LTTE to begin to work as a political party in government controlled areas. Subsequent to that on 08 March 2002, the A-9 was re-opened & the famous entry/ exit point was set up at MUHAMALAI.
During the period of which the agreement was signed, LTTE was controlling most of the land/areas of Northern & Eastern provinces. However, LTTE’s so called capital of the Ealam; the city of JAFFNA was in government's hand. The agreement allowed LTTE to open their political offices & engaged in political activities within JAFFNA peninsula. Nevertheless, LTTE continued in recruiting more child soldiers to enhance their military capability. Moreover, they used to bring the image as a revolutionary force in the international forum. More significantly, LTTE tried all means to establish its political stability with the government as well European community with the support of the Norwegian Peace facilitator LTTE collected large sum of money and goods/items from innocent people that were passing through entry/exit points at MUHAMALAI & OMANTHAI by imposing various taxes. However, the security forces could to prevent arms & explosives passing through.
For almost four years, LTTE used entry exit point at MUHAMALAI towards it’s own advantage/ benefit under the cover of the peace accord. They engaged in sabotage activities using civilians, sympathizers & schoolchildren. Furthermore, they carried out isolated attacks at security posts and camps in order to create an unstable situation in the JAFFNA Peninsula. By doing this, their aim was to prompt Security Forces to carry out an unwanted situation and to restrict security forces to their camps & barracks. However, troops of 55 Division were helpless as they could not take any counter action due to the restrictions imposed by the peace accord.
As a result of that the 55 Division was raised at the beginning of the JAYSIKURU Operation to open a supply route to JAFFNA from VAUNIYA. During the peace agreement period 55 Division was deployed along the MUHAMALAI Forward Defence Line (FDL). The Division Headquarter was located at MIRUSUVIL under the command of Major General VR Silva RSP USP ndu IG.
Humanitarian operation undertaken from July 2006 and May 2009 to free the country from LTTE and 55 division along with its under command Brigades and Battalions could contribute with maximum operational strength to engage with LTTE for eradication of the conflict. During this period Divisional troops succeeded in capturing significant strategic locations/townships such as EPS, IYAKACHCHI, MUHAMALAI, PALALI and NAGARKOVIL with number of ferocious battles. More soldiers who engaged in the battle sacrificed their lives for the Nation and large number of soldiers got WIA (Wounded In Action) and MIA (Missing In Action) during the battle.During this entre war period, 55 Division was able to succeeded almost all operations; significantly the Humanitarian Operation launched against LTTE under the leadership of brave Divisional Commanders. At presently the Division is located in KADDAIKADU close to EPS under the command of Security Force Headquarters (JAFFNA) and consists with 551, 552, 553 Brigades and the Divisional Battalion Training School. Brigades are consisted with 23 GW, 4 SLSR, 1 MIR, 16(V) SLLI, 10(V) VIR and 12(V) VIR at present.
After the Easter Sunday attack on 21 April 2019, the existed peace situation was effected and thereby troops were deployed on various IS duties to ensure the normalcy of the area under command to 55 Division. Presently under the leadership and command of present General Officer Commanding, Maj Gen KNS Kotuwegoda ndc IG, the Division is functioning in effective and efficient manner in accordance with the 5R Concept (Resettlement, Reconstruction, Rehabilitation, Reintegration and Reconciliation) to ensure the peace, harmony and stability within the Area.
|Brig||HSH Kottegoda RWP RSP||10.03.1997||10.10.1997|
|Brig||EAD Wijendra RSP USP psc||04.11.1997||28.12.1997|
|Brig||GSC Fonseka RSP psc||28.12.1997||26.04.1998|
|Maj Gen||GSC Fonseka RSP psc||27.04.1998||08.11.1998|
|Brig||MDS Chandrapala RSP USP psc||08.11.1998||08.04.1999|
|Brig||S Wanigasekara RWP RSP USP||06.11.1999||01.05.2000|
|Brig||SD Thennakoon RSP||01.05.2000||30.05.2000|
|Maj Gen||SD Thennakoon RSP||31.05.2000||01.01.2002|
|Brig||KJN Senaweera RSP USP Ldmc||01.01.2002||31.07.2002|
|Brig||VR Silva RSP USP IG||18.08.2003||08.02.2005|
|Maj Gen||VR Silva RSP USP IG||09.02.2005||23.08.2005|
|Maj Gen||SG Karunarathne RWP RSP USP psc||23.08.2005||12.09.2006|
|Brig||GDHK Gunarathne RWP RSP psc||12.09.2006||28.04.2008|
|Brig||PP De Silva WWV RWP RSP psc||28.04.2008||28.07.2009|
|Maj Gen||PP De Silva WWV RWP RSP psc||29.07.2009||07.08.2009|
|Brig||ALSK Perera RSP||08.08.2009||25.07.2011|
|Brig||JR Kulathunga RSP psc||26.07.2011||03.06.2012|
|Brig||BHMA Wijesinghe USP psc||04.06.2012||03.01.2014|
|Brig||Kariyakarawana USP ndc||04.01.2014||04.03.2014|
|Maj Gen||Kariyakarawana USP ndc||05.03.2014||22.07.2014|
|Brig||SK Thirunavukarasu USP||23.07.2014||28.10.2014|
|Maj Gen||MKD Perera RWP RSP USP ndu||31.10.2014||01.09.2015|
|Maj Gen||Damarathne WWV RWP RSP ndu psc||05.09.2015||11.04.2017|
|Brig||MASK Muhandiram RSP||14.04.2017||08.09.2017|
|Maj Gen||HMJK Gunartne WWV RWP RSP ndc psc||15.09.2017||14.03.2019|
|Maj Gen||KNS Kotuwegoda ndc IG||15.03.2019||Up to date|
Major General KNS Kotuwegoda ndc IG
Genaral Officer Commanding
Major General KNS Kotuwegoda ndc IG is a gunner officer of the Sri Lanka Army and he assumed duties as General Officer Commanding of 55 Division on 15 March 2019. This senior officer was born on 22 December 1966 to a family of eight, and he was a product of Vickramabahu Central College, Gampola, Sri Lanka. Maj Gen Kotuwegoda started displaying his inborn qualities of leadership from the very young age as a school prefect and excelled in school cadetting and scouting as well.
Having completed advanced level education in math stream, his future career planning took roots in the year 1986 when he joined the Sri Lanka Army as an officer cadet and commenced basic Military Training at Sri Lanka Military Academy, Diyathalawa. He was commissioned in the rank of 2nd Lieutenant on 21 February 1987, and secured the fifth place in the order of merit. Upon completion of the military training at Sri Lanka Military Academy, he served as Troop Commander, Battery Captain, Battery Commander and Second in Command the 11th Sri Lanka Artillery Regiment. He was fortunate to commanded the 11th Artillery Regiment, and the 8th Medium Regiment of Sri Lanka Artillery, after which, he was appointed as the Commandant of the School of Artillery Sri Lanka.
After his academic stint abroad in Bangladesh, he returned to receive the Instructor Gunnery appointment at School of Artillery in Minneriya. He held Grade I and Grade II General Staff Officer Appointments respectively at the Dte of Ops Army Headquarters and in Area Headquarters, Welioya. He was appointed as Commander, 612 Infantry Brigade during the Humanitarian Operation against the Liberation of Tamil Tiger Eelam (LTTE). After the war, Maj Gen Kotuwegoda commanded 663 Infantry Brigade then later Appointed as Director Army Quartering in Army Headquarters.
Maj Gen Kotuwegoda studied the Officer’s Gunnery Staff Course in Bangladesh and Military Schooling in India and Pakistan, USA, and Japan in addition to the Staff Planning for Air Assault Course with US Special Forces. He studied the Battalion Commanders’ Course in Sri Lanka and Pakistan. Afterwards, He Followed the Master of Science in Management Degree from the General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University and he earned ndc at the National Defense College in Philippines.
Maj Gen Kotuwegoda who is now presently residing at Gangodavila, Nugegoda is happily married to Shyamini Kotuwegoda and blessed with two sons and one daughter.