|Monday, 16 August 2004|
|Security||Today's Top Story|
Issued by the Commander of the Army Lieutenant General S.H.S. Kottegoda WWV RWP RSP USP ndc
It is with a deep sense of sadness that the Commander of the Army, Officers and Soldiers of the Sri Lanka Army express their profound sorrow on the demise of Brigadier E.T. de Z. Abeysekara at his residence in Kirulapone on August 13th 2004. He was born on the 3rd May 1921 in Colombo.
Brigadier Edirimuni Tennison De Zoysa Abeysekara was educated at St. Joseph's College Colombo. He was a keen sportsman who participated in many sports activities in school particularly cricket. He was a good student in school and got through his London University Matriculation Examination. After schooling he opted for a career in Army and joined the Ceylon Defence Force in 1941 during World War II. On 3rd Mar. 1924 with the successful completion of his preliminary military training, he received a Commission as a 2/Lt. in the Ceylon Defence Force and was posted to Ceylon Light Infantry. In the same year he attended a Young Officers Course at the Ceylon Defence Forces Training School in Diyatalawa. Late in the year 1942 he was selected to follow an advance training course on Chemical Warfare in India where he achieved a grading as a Qualified Instructor. On 3rd Sep. 1943 he was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant. During his service as a Young Officer, past records bear ample evidence of his dedication to duties in all fields of military activity. As a young officer he had obtained the grading of Instructor in all the local and foreign courses that he followed. Among them was the Assault Pioneer Qualifying Course at the Infantry School in India and Advance Battle Course in Ceylon were prominent.
He was promoted to the rank of Captain on 26th June 1944 and confirmed in the Captain rank on 12th Feb. 1945. For services rendered during World War II he was awarded the Defence Medal and the War Medal. With the termination of hostilities after the Second World War his service was made non-effective on 23rd Aug. 1946.
After Independence in 1948 and with the formation of the Ceylon Army in 1949 he joined the Regular Force and was Commissioned as a 2/Lieutenant on 19th Oct. 1949 and was subsequently promoted to the rank of Lieutenant. He served as a Platoon Commander in the Army Recruit Training Depot and was selected to follow a Platoon Weapons Course at Hythe in the United Kingdom. In 1951 he was posted to the 1st Battalion Ceylon Light Infantry. He was promoted to the rank of Captain in 1st Jan. 1952. On 15th Jan. 1952 he was selected to follow a Platoon Commanders Course at the Infantry School Westminster in the United Kingdom. In appreciation of his service he was attached to a British Infantry Regiment. He later proceeded to follow a Jungle Warfare Course at Farlef in Malaysia on 17th Nov. 1952. In addition to the above courses he also attended the Company Commanders Course at the School of Infantry, Westminster. In 1968 he attended a course in Financial Management at the United States Army Financial School and obtained a Diploma.
On 8th Oct. 1956 he was promoted to the rank of Major and was appointed the Officer Commanding Headquarters Company of 1 CLI. In 1961 he was appointed as the Military Liaison Officer of the Ministry of Defence and External Affairs. He was appointed as the Aide-De-Camp to the Governor General of Ceylon and he served in the appointment till Nov. 1963. He was appointed as the Second in Command 1st Bn Ceylon Light Infantry in November 1963. He was promoted to the rank of Lt. Colonel on 5th Nov. 1965 and appointed as the Commanding Officer in 1st Bn. Ceylon Light Infantry. He relinquished the appointment of CO 1st Ceylon Light Infantry on 11th Feb. 1969. Whilst Commanding 1 CLI also commanded 1st Battalion Sinha Regiment from 5th Mar. 1967 to 30th April 1968. As the Commanding Officer of both Battalions, during civil riots and communal clashes, his contribution in maintaining peace and harmony in the country was highly commendable and appreciated. On 21st Mar. 1969 he was promoted to the rank of Colonel.
During his career he also functioned in very important appointments at national level, namely.
a. Coordinating Officer Anuradhapura District
b. Coordinating Officer Matara District
c. Coordinating Officer Galle District
In addition to above appointments in the Army he also held the under- mentioned appointments in various Army establishments.
a. Chief of staff of the Army (From 1st Nov. 1973 to 2nd May. 1976)
b. Acting Commandant of Sri Lanka Volunteer Force (1st Nov. 1973 to 21st July 1974).
c. Brigade Commander of 1st Brigade Group Panagoda (1st Nov. 1972 to 1st Jan. 1974).
He was able to win the love and admiration of his superiors, Equals and Subordinates. During his service career he was recipient of the following Medals.
a. The Defense Medal (1944)
b. The War Medal (1945)
c. The Ceylon Armed Services Inauguration medal (1949)
d. The Ceylon Armed Services Long Service Medal (1962)
e. The Republic of Sri Lanka Army 25th Anniversary Medal (1974)
He retired from the Sri Lanka Army on 2nd May 1976. We are extremely distressed to learn of the demise of the late brigadier E.T. De Z. Abeysekara (Retd) who has been a source of encouragement and inspiration to his brother officers and other ranks. It is an irreparable loss to our country and the nation as a whole. His demise is a great loss to the entire Armed services and to mother Sri Lanka in general. At this moment of grief, we also join in the deep sorrow with the family members of late Brigadier E.T. De Z. Abeysekara (Retd) who has departed from us forever.
Though he has departed from us his name and the service he has rendered shall be remembered by us forever as a great patriot and true son of mother Lanka.
May your journey in sanasara be brief and devoid of sorrow until you attain the supreme bliss of nirwana.
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