This Commodore is said to have failed his basic training course at the British Navy but had forged fake certificates, pilfered the sailors’ food allowance while he served as the commanding officer of the Naval vessel ‘Samudura’, caught while copying at a course held at the Kothalawala Defence Faculty and is said to be facing several other allegations.
It is reported that this promotion is planned while there are six other commodores senior to him.
The senior naval officers allege that this officer is scheduled to be promoted based on pressure by the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Ravindra Wijegunaratne as the said officer is a close disciple of the CDS.
According to a Navy Headquarters officer, the senior naval officers have written to the President against this injustice and are ready to initiate legal action against this unfair move.
The CDS has focussed special attention on promoting this officer as a Cabinet Minister is said to be the classmate of the Commodore, according to navy sources.
It is said that the Commodore in question has ocean experience of only four years while the other six senior officers possess over ten years ocean experience.
While this officer in question served as the Commanding Officer of the ‘Samudura’ naval vessel he had faced charges of having misappropriated the sailors’ food allowance and the then Navy Commander Admiral Jayantha Perera had immediately removed him from his post and even issued him a warning letter, which is in his personal file.
There are also allegations that while the CDS was the Navy Commander, he had taken steps to remove the said warning letter from the relevant errant officer’s personal file.
The aggrieved naval officers meet Ulugetenna
The aggrieved six senior Naval officers had notified the Navy Chief of Staff Rear Admiral Nishantha Ulugetenna to be fair and consider seniority in granting promotions and not based on friendships, disregarding the 33 years of service rendered by the eligible officers who had risked their very lives defending the country against the LTTE during the war.
This was due to Navy Commander Vice Admiral Piyal de Silva refusing to meet with the aggrieved officers by overriding the orders of the CDS.
It is also reported that the CDS is continuously exerting pressure on the Navy and all foreign scholarships received by the Navy are also awarded to those close to the CDS. This situation has been reported to the President on several occasions by the retired Navy Commanders as well.
Most recent among the unfair actions of the CDS is that a Captain close to the CDS who has less than three years service on a ship was sent to America for a course which he is currently following.
There is a notion within the Navy that former Navy Commander Vice Admiral Sirimewan Ranasinghe had opted to resign despite the President preparing to grant him a service extension, was due to the fact that he could not command the Navy due to the interference by the CDS.
According to seniority, the Commodores’ eligible for promotion are Sudath Kulakulasooriya, Upul Silva, Senarath Wijesooriya, Rohitha Perera, Sanath Uthpola, J. Jayatillake and Kalana Jinadasa.