General Mahesh Senanayake is the candidate of the National People’s Movement (NPM). A novice to politics and only the second General to contest a Presidential Election, General Senanayake retired as the Commander of the Sri Lanka Army recently. He is contesting under the “Light Bulb” symbol. General Senanayake (59) was educated at Ananda College, Colombo.

He joined the Army in 1981 and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in 1983. In 2006, having attained the rank of Brigadier, he was appointed Director Plans at Army Headquarters, going on to work with the US Army as Senior Manager, Project Management of Afghan Operations and Strategic Planning for Civil Reserved Air Fleet (CRAF). Senanayake has also held the positions of Regimental Center Commandant of the Special Forces Regiment, Brigade Commander of the 211 Infantry Brigade Vavuniya, Commander- Special Forces Brigade, and General Officer Commanding the 52 Division.

He left Sri Lanka in the aftermath of Field Marshal (then General) Sarath Fonseka’s defeat in the 2010 Presidential Election, but returned following the victory of President Maithripala Sirisena at the Presidential Election of January 2015. He was then appointed as Military Secretary at the Army headquarters.

In 2016, he was appointed Commander, SFHQ-Jaffna, during which he was responsible for overseeing the resettlement of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs). Senanayake was appointed the Army Chief of Staff on March 22, 2017, and was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant General and Army Commander by order of President Maithripala Sirisena on July 4, 2017. He retired from the Army in August 2019. He is a graduate of the United States Army Command and General Staff College and holds a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the Jawaharlal Nehru University, Pune, India.



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