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General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University
Crest of the General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University
Motto සිය රටටමයි කවදත්
(“For The Motherland Forever”)
Established 11 October 1980
Type Military Academy/State University
Chancellor General Rohan Daluwatte VSV, ndc, psc, SLE
Vice-Chancellor Major General Milinda Peiris RWP, RSP, psc
Undergraduates 300
Postgraduates 50
Location Ratmalana, Colombo,
Sri Lanka
Campus Kandawala
Nickname KDA/KDU
Affiliations Association of Commonwealth Universities

General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University (KDU) located at Kandawala, Ratmalana, Colombo, is a joint services academy where cadets of the three wings Sri Lanka Army, Sri Lanka Navy and Sri Lanka Air Force are trained before they go for their pre-commission training to their academies. Established in 1980 as the General Sir John Kotelawala Defence Academy, named after General Sir John Kotelawala, 3rd Prime Minister of Ceylon; it was renamed as a university by an amendment bill passed in Parliament on 11 October 2007.



The General Sir John Kotelawala Defence Academy (the Defence University of Sri Lanka) was inaugurated on 11 October 1980 on a 48-acre (190,000 m2) estate donated by the late General Sir John Kotelawala, CH, KBE, LLD, a former Prime Minister of Ceylon. The KDA functions under the motto For The Motherland Forever, a dictum followed by General Sir John Kotelawala himself.

The KDA was instituted with the objective of educating males and females to be commissioned officers in the armed forces of Sri Lanka. It has been legally established under the Sir John Kotelawala Defence Academy Act No. 68 of 1981 and is governed by a Board of Management consisting of the Secretary of the Defence as the chairman, Commanders of the tri-services, representatives of the University Grant Commission and the General Treasury, and the Commandant of the academy as members.

From 1980 to 1986, a temporary arrangement was made for Service Officer Cadets follow courses in engineering and physical science at the University of Colombo and University of Moratuwa, and they were awarded the degree by the same universities. Later, KDA was elevated to university status subsequent to proposal made to the then government headed by the President J.R. Jayewardene, thus enabling KDA to offer degrees in Defence Studies. Today, the KDU is a member of the Association of Commonwealth Universities, United Kingdom.

A amendment bill was passed in Parliament on 18 March 2007 granting the status of a state university to the KDA.[1] On 11 October 2007 KDA was renamed as the General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University.[2]

Academic wingEdit

The degree courses at the KDU run for two to four years. The officer Cadets follow a course of study from the fields of Law,engineering, management and technical sciences, commerce or arts. At the end of the second year, the Officer Cadets other than the Engineering Cadets who stay back to complete their third year studies, are sent to their military academies (Sri Lanka Military Academy-Diyatalawa; Naval and Maritime Academy- Trincomalee; Air Force Academy- SLAF China Bay).And as well there is a civil students who follow Law, Engineering, ICT, Social science courses. For civil student the course will be for 4 years.

Academic work is conducted under the direction of the Board of Studies and Board of Management by the Director of Academic Studies. There are eight academic departments, each department consist of a Head of the Department and internal/visiting staff and the library.


  • Aeronautical Engineering
  • Civil Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Humanities
  • Languages
  • Marine and Mechanical Engineering
  • Mathematics, Science and Computer Science
  • Medicine
  • Social Science

Degrees offered by the KDUEdit

KDU offers Bachelor and Master level Degrees in following fields;

  • Bachelor of Law
  • Master of Science (Defence Studies) in Management
  • Master of Science in Information Technology
  • Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery
  • Bachelor of Science (Defence Studies) Mechanical Engineering
  • Bachelor of Science (Defence Studies) Marine Engineering
  • Bachelor of Science (Defence Studies) Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Bachelor of Science (Defence Studies) Civil Engineering
  • Bachelor of Science (Defence Studies) Aeronautical Engineering
  • Bachelor of Science (Defence Studies) in Management and Technical Science
  • Bachelor of Science (Defence Studies) in Logistics Management
  • Bachelor of Arts (Defence Studies)
  • Bachelor of Commerce (Defence Studies)


The following have commanded the college:

See alsoEdit


External linksEdit

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