Tissa Indraka Weerathunga was born on 29 August 1930 and was educated at Royal College, Colombo.


On the formation of the Sri Lanka Army on 10 October 1949 consequent to Sri Lanka gaining her independence in February 1948, General Weerathunga was among the first batch of Officer Cadets to join the Regular Force of the Army on 11 October 1949.He proceeded to the United Kingdom where he completed his initial training at the Mons Officer Cadet School, Aldershot and at the prestigious Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, Camberley. He was commissioned in the rank of Second Lieutenant on 2 August 1951 and posted to the Ceylon Light Infantry.


He was appointed Adjutant of Ruhunu Regiment on 04th July 1956, Adjutant of First Ceylon Light Infantry on 22 October 1956 and Staff Captain Administration Branch, Army Headquarters on 25 July 1958.He was transferred to the Corps of Infantry on 08 December 1962 and later posted to the First Battalion the Gemunu Watch on its formation. He was appointed Brigade Major First Brigade Group, Panagoda on 01 December 1965.He held the appointment of Military Liaison Officer Ministry of Defence and External Affairs from 23 February 1966 to 01 November 1967.


He was appointed Acting Commanding Officer First Battalion The Gemunu Watch on 01 September 1968.Having earned due promotions he rose to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel on 01 October 1969 and appointed Commanding Officer, First Battalion The Gemunu Watch on the same day. Subsequently he commanded the Ceylon Army General Service Corps and the Ceylon Army Pioneer Corps. He was appointed Coordinating Officer Monaragala District on 15 August 1971 and then served as Coordinating officer Kurunegalla District from 16 April 1972 to 07 May 1972.He served as Commander Task Force Anti illicit Immigration in Jaffna from 01 November 1972 to 01 March 1976.He was promoted to the rank of Colonel on 01 January 1974.He was appointed Commander Western Command on 1 March 1976 and Director Operations and training Army Headquarters on 15 September 1977.He was promoted to the rank of Brigadier on 01 December 1977 and appointed Inspector of Training of the Army.


He followed a unit Commanderís Course in Australia, joint services staff course in the United Kingdom and the National Defence College in India. On his return from New Delhi he was appointed Competent Authority for Sri Lanka Airports.


He was appointed Chief of Staff of the Sri Lanka Army on 18 March 1979 and while holding this appointment he functioned as the Commander Security Forces Jaffna from 13 July 1979 to 31 December 1979.


On 14 October 1981 he was promoted to the rank of Major General and appointed Commander of the Sri Lanka Army. He was the first to become the Commander of the SriLanka Army from Gemunu Watch.


 He was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant General on 11 February 1985 and appointed the first General Officer Commanding of the Joint Operations Command


General Weerathunge during his brilliant carrier contributed towards the betterment of the Army and won the Admiration of his superiors as well as his subordinates. He has been a source of encouragement and inspiration to Officers and other ranks alike. In recognition of dedicated service, efficiency and loyalty, the following medals were awarded during his tenure of service.



  • Vishishta Seva Vibhushanaya.
  • The Republic of Sri Lanka Armed Services Medal..
  • The Republic of Sri Lanka Army 25th Anniversary Medal.
  • Ceylon Armed Services Long Service Medal.
  • Sri Lanka Armed Services Long Service Medal and Clasp.
  • The Presidents Inauguration Medal.
  • Purna Bhumi Padakkama.
  • Ceylon Armed Services Inauguration Medal.


Having rendered more than 34 years of distinguished and unblemished service he retired on 29 August 1985 and was promoted to the rank of General with effect from the same day.


General Weerathunga on retirement was appointed as Ambassador for Sri Lanka in Canada and continued to serve the Nation.


General Weerathunga passed away on 07 Nov 2003. The last rites of the Late General TI Weerathunga VSV ndc jssc (Retd) with full military honors were held at the General Cemetery, Borella on the 09 November 2003.


Though departed his name will for ever remain close to our hearts as a great Patriot of Mother Lanka



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