|Sri Lanka Artillery|
|Active||12 April 1888 - Present|
|Branch||Sri Lanka Army|
12 regular regiments, |
2 volunteer regiments
|Part of||Artillery Brigade|
|Regimental Headquarters||Panagoda Cantonment, Panagoda.|
|March||The British Grenadiers|
World War I|
World War II
Sri Lankan Civil War
|Centre Commandant||Col A S Hewawitharana IG|
|Colonel-Commandant||Maj Gen J.C.Rambukpotha RSP USP ndc IG|
|Colonel F. C. de Saram OBE|
History[edit | edit source]
The roots of the Sri Lanka Artillery goes back to 1888, when on 12 April 1888 the Ceylon Artillery Volunteers was formed as a gun battery under the command of Capt. C.E.H Seimans of the Royal Artillery. During World War I the Ceylon Artillery Volunteers were mobilised, along with the Town Guard Artillery of Colombo for the defence of Colombo. In 1918 the Ceylon Garrison Artillery was formed by amalgamating the Ceylon Artillery Volunteers and Town Guard Artillery, coming under the Ceylon Defence Force. During the colonial period the main responsibility of the Ceylon Garrison Artillery was the coastal defence of Ceylon, by manning Coastal artillery batteries.
During World War II the CGA was deployed overseas to support the Allied and Commonwealth forces in the Indian Ocean, as well as defending Ceylon. Equipped with 6 inch Guns the CGA was deployed in defence of the Seychelles and the Cocos Islands. Within Ceylon expanded in size, with the 1st Coast Regiment raising in strength of one field and four coast batteries, the formation the 2nd Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regiment, headquartered in Trincomalee and the 3rd Searchlight/Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment based in Colombo and defended Colombo and Trincomalee during the air attacks that result in the Indian Ocean raid by the Imperial Japanese Navy.
In 1949 the CGA became the Ceylon Artillery with the formation of the Ceylon Army under the Army Act of 1949. That year the 1st Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regiment (HAA) of the Ceylon Artillery was formed under the command of Lt. Col. (later Colonel) F. C. de Saram, OBE. In 1953 it was renamed the 1st Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment (LAA). In the same year the 3rd Field Artillery Regiment was formed. The 2nd Volunteer Coastal Artillery / Anti-Aircraft Regiment was formed in 1949, under the command of Lt. Col. J.A.T. Perera, ED. It was made up of officers and men of the Ceylon Garrison Artillery. In 1962, when many officers of the CA, including Colonel De Saram were frond associated with the attempted military coup the government began rapid reduction of the CA. As a result in 1962 2nd Volunteer Regiment was disbanded and coastal artillery batteries decommissioned. The following year in 1963 the 1st Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment was amalgamated with 3rd Field Artillery Regiment and the 4th Regiment, Ceylon Artillery was formed, thus reducing the Ceylon Artillery to a single regiment. Years after amalgamation of the LAA, the air defence role of the Sri Lankan military was taken over by the Sri Lanka Air Force Regiment which it carries out to this day. The CA was renamed in 1972 as the Sri Lanka Artillery when Ceylon became a republic. Only in 1980 was a new volunteer regiment, the 5th (V) Artillery Regiment was formed.
At present the Sri Lanka Artillery has 12 regular regiments, 2 volunteer regiments and a regimental band. These units form the Artillery Brigade. Since the start of the Sri Lankan civil war in the 1980s, the SLA has provided fire support for almost all military operations carried out by the Sri Lanka Army against terrorist forces. It also performs a target acquisition role to locate enemy guns. At times the SLA has deployed 4 regular (RFT)and 2 volunteer regiments in an infantry role to meet the shortage of infantry.
Units[edit | edit source]
Regular Regiments[edit | edit source]
- 4th Field Regiment SLA
- 6th Field Regiment SLA
- 7th Light Regiment SLA
- 8th Field Regiment SLA
- 9th Field Regiment SLA
- 10th Field Regiment SLA
- 11th Regiment[RFT] SLA
- 14th Rocket Regiment SLA
- 15th Field Regiment SLA
- 16th Regiment[RFT] SLA
- 17th Regiment[RFT] SLA
- 18th Regiment [RFT] SLA
- School Of Artillery
Volunteer Regiments[edit | edit source]
- 5th(v) Sri Lanka Artillery Regiment
- 12th(v) Sri Lanka Artillery Regiment
Equipment[edit | edit source]
During the colonial period the Ceylon Garrison Artillery personnel manned British Coastal artillery batteries. After independence and establishment Artillery Regiment, the corps depended on its World War II-era British BL 6 inch coastal guns, 40 mm anti-aircraft guns, 3.7 inch heavy anti-aircraft guns and 4.2-inch heavy mortars. Later British Ordnance QF 25 pounder Mark III field guns and 76 mm mountain guns were introduced.
New sources of weaponry in the 1990s and 2000s included China and the Czech Republic. With the escalation of the Sri Lankan civil war 120 mm, 152 mm, 130 mm howitzers and 120 mm, 82 mm mortars were introduced, and in 2000 RM-70 Multiple rocket launchers were added, increasing SLA’s firepower. Target acquisition systems are also operated by the corps to locate enemy guns.
Multiple rocket launchers
Heavy and Towed mortars
Notable members[edit | edit source]
- General C. S. Weerasooriya RWP, RSP, VSV, USP, SLA - Former Commander of the Army.
- Lieutenant General Hamilton Wanasinghe VSV, SLA - Former Commander of the Army.
- General L. P. Balagalle VSV, USP, ndc, IG, SLA - Former Commander of the Army.
- Major General Jayantha de S. Jayaratne, VSV, ndc, IG, SLA - former Commander Security Forces Jaffna
- Major General Sarath Munasinghe RWP, RSP, USP - Former Deputy Speaker of Parliament and Commander Security Forces Headquarter Jaffna.
- Major General Larry Wijeratne † - Former Brigade commander, 514 Brigade.
- Major General Ananda Hamangoda † - Former Brigade commander, 512 Brigade.
- Brigadier Bhathiya Jayatilleka, RSP, SLA † - former Brigade commander, 54-1 brigade
- Colonel Fredrick C. de Saram OBE, CA - former Commanding officer, Ceylon Artillery & Leader of the Attempted military coup in 1962
- Lieutenant Colonel Wilmot "Willie" S. Abrahams, MC, MBE, CA - former Commanding Officer, 3rd Field Artillery Regiment, Ceylon Artillery & accused conspirator in the 1962 coup d'état attempt
- Major Victor Gunasekara, CCS - former Controller of Imports Exports and Government Agent of Kegalle
- Second Lieutenant Ajantha Mendis - National Cricketer
- Bombardier Gratien Fernando - Leader of the Cocos Islands Mutiny
Alliances[edit | edit source]
Order of precedence[edit | edit source]
Sri Lanka Armoured Corps
|Order of Precedence||Succeeded by|
Sri Lanka Engineers
Mechanized Infantry Regiment
(with armored vehicles)
|Order of Precedence
Sri Lanka Engineers
(with engineering vehicles)
See also[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
[edit | edit source]
- Sri Lanka Army
- Sri Lanka Artillery
- The Cocos Mutiny, 66 years on, as recalled by (Donny) Vincent Ranasinghe, the last surviving member of the Ceylon Garrison Artillery (CGA) who served on the island
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