Gen. Vikum Liyanage to Replace Gen. Shavendra Silva as Army Commander from June 1;Committee Comprising Ex-Navy Air Force and Army Chiefs Appointed to Probe Lapses by Armed Services in Countering Protest Related Violence ;SLPP MPs Complain to President that Army did not act satisfactorily ;Shavendra is new Chief of Defence Staff

General Shavendra Silva will be replaced by Major General Vikum Liyanage on 1 June as Commander of the Sri Lanka Army, while a high-powered military committee has been appointed to look into any lapses by the tri-forces during the unrest at Mirihana on 31 March, and the nationwide tensions that erupted on 9 May and the following days.

Gen. Silva is set to assume office on 1 June as new Chief of Defence Staff, after relinquishing the office of the Commander of the Army on 31 May, Sri Lanka Army said in a statement. The incumbent Chief of Staff Maj. Gen. Vikum Liyanage is slated to be appointed as the new Commander of the Army, and his appointment will be effective from 1 June following the relinquishment of his office as the Chief of Staff.

Then-President Maithripala Sirisena appointed Maj. Gen. Shavendra Silva as the 23rd Commander of the Army on 18 August 2019 after promoting him to the rank of Lieutenant General. Gen. Silva was acting Chief of Defence Staff at the time he was appointed Army Commander.

Maj. Gen. H.L.V.M Liyanage was appointed as the 59th Chief of Staff of the Sri Lanka Army, effective from 7 December 2021. Maj. Gen. Vikum Liyanage of the Gajaba Regiment, prior to his current appointment, served as the Commandant of the Sri Lanka Army Volunteer Force.

Meanwhile, a committee has been appointed to look into any lapses by tri-forces during the unrest at Mirihana on 31 March and the nationwide tensions erupted on 9 May. The committee comprises Admiral of the Fleet Wasantha Karannagoda, Marshal of the Air Force Roshan Gunathilake, and Gen. R.M. Daya Ratnayake. 

These developments follow complaints made by Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) MPs to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa that the military, in particular the Army, did not take adequate measures to quell the acts of destruction and arson in the afternoon and evening of 9 May, which particularly damaged property belonging to Government MPs. These complaints were made directly to the President during the first meeting between the President and the SLPP Parliamentary Group on 14 May, the first meeting between them following the events of 9 May.

Courtesy:The Morning