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Tissa Indraka Weeratunga
Nickname Bull
Born August 29, 1930
Died November 2003
Place of birth Matara, Ceylon
Place of death Colombo, Sri Lanka
Allegiance Sri Lanka Sri Lanka
Service/branch Sri Lanka Army
Years of service 1951-1985
Rank General
Unit Ceylon Light Infantry,
25pxGemunu Watch
Commands held Chief of the Defence Staff,
Commander of the Sri Lankan Army,
Chief of Staff of the Sri Lankan Army
Battles/wars 1971 Insurrection,
Sri Lankan Civil War
Awards Vishista Seva Vibhushanaya
Other work High Commissioner to Canada
General Tissa Indraka "Bull" Weeratunga, VSV, ndc, psc, GW (August 29, 1930 – November 2003) was a former Commander of the Sri Lankan Army (1981–1985) and first General Officer Commanding (GOC) of the Joint Operations Headquarters (JOH) (at present referred Chief of the Defence Staff), he was later Sri Lanka's High Commissioner to Canada.

Early life and educationEdit

Born to Arthur (proprietor planter) & Henrietta Weeratunga (née Gurusingha) of Matara and he had one sister, Krishnajina who married Ana Seneviratne ( former Sri Lankan Inspector-General of Police). Tissa Weerathunga was educated at the prestigious Royal College, Colombo. He was a graduate of the Staff College, Camberley and the National Defence College, India.

Military careerEdit

Weeratunga joined the newly formed Ceylon Army on October 11, 1949, in its first cadet officer intake and received his basic officer training at Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Ceylon Light Infantry in 1950. He served as adjutant of the Ruhunu Regiment and Ceylon Light Infantry, later transferred to the Gemunu Watch and later became the commanding officer of its 1st Battalion. In 1965 he was the Brigade Major of the 1st Brigade Group in Panagoda.

In 1971 a Lieutenant Colonel, he saw combat during the 1971 Insurrection as coordinating officer, Moneragala District and later took command of the Ceylon Army General Service Corps and the Ceylon Army Pioneer Corps. From 1972 to 1976 stationed in the northern part of the country fist as part as the commander of the Task Force Anti Illicit Immigration (TAFII). In 1976 he was appointed Commander Western Command and later made Director Operations and Training at Army Headquarters. On December 1, 1977, he was promoted to the rank of Brigadier and appointed Inspector of Training of the Army.

In March 1979 he was appointed Chief of Staff of the Sri Lanka Army on and same time he functioned as Commander Security Forces, Jaffna from July 13, 1979, to December 31, 1979. He was made Commander of the Sri Lankan Army on October 14, 1981, and held the post till November 2, 1985, he was appointed as the first General Officer Commanding of the Joint Operation Command on February 11, 1985. He was promoted to the rank of General on August 29, 1989. Upon retiring from the army he was made Sri Lankan High Commissioner to Canada in 1986.

Weeratunga was accused of alleged of human rights abuses, however these have not been substantiated nor resulted in any judicial proceedings.[1]


General Weeratunga was married to Sonia Paul Weeratunga and had three children: Rohan, Annouchka and Ajit. He died at the age 73 in November 2003 and was cremated with full Military Honours at General Cemetery Kanatte on November 9, 2003.[2]

See alsoEdit


External linksEdit

Military offices
Preceded by
Post created
GOC of the Joint Operation Command
Succeeded by
S. Cyril Ranatunge
Preceded by
Denis Perera
Commander of the Sri Lankan Army
Succeeded by
Nalin Seneviratne
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Sri Lankan High Commissioners to Canada
Succeeded by

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