General Denzil Kobbekaduwa: An outstanding leader with incomparable integrity and moral courage

29 July 2020 12:00 am - 9     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


Gen. Kobbekaduwa taking care of a wounded soldier 


“I have had the privilege of working closely with the late General Kobbekaduwa when he was the Security Forces Commander in Wanni and subsequently at the Joint Operations Command in Colombo. During these periods, I worked directly under him. In addition I have met him on many instances on North and East operational fields. As I saw late Gen. Kobbekaduwa, was an outstanding leader whose life time principle was integrity of the highest order personifying exemplary moral courage to do what is needed and what is right, while being an officer and gentleman, par-excellence. It reflected to me that he viewed professionalism for an officer, not only knowing the job, but also relating it to the discipline and decorum that he and his men should maintain while engaged on the task whatever the circumstances may be.  


I am quite confident that the Sri Lankan military and the generations to come will add to his legacy

When late General Kobbekaduwa was the Security Forces Commander Wanni, I was a young pilot in the rank of Flying Officer based at the Air Force Base, Vavuniya. He was the role model for me as a young officer. There have been so many instances that I have had first-hand experience of his excellent leadership and adorable human qualities.   When I was following my staff college in USA I took him as a role model on the command and leadership module and discussed my experiences working under him and his strong leadership traits in my class portfolio. I emulated his management approach of being firm, fair and friendly as I rose in my career, with success. Further, I used to always admire him on how he looked after us as subordinates though I was from a different service.  


He was a passionate leader, a visionary and a professional, whose life is worthy of celebration at the highest level of esteem and appreciation

I could also vividly remember the diligent efforts that he took to help the people in the border villages with his personal friends supporting them with their arduous livelihood.  

The late General professed integrity, professionalism and empathy as the attributes that serve as the pillars of genuine officering at all times. He was a passionate leader, a visionary and a professional, whose life is worthy of celebration at the highest level of esteem and appreciation. I am quite confident that the Sri Lankan military and the generations to come will add to his legacy.  

May the late Gen. Kobbekaduwa, who was a true patriot, be remembered by the future generations for his excellence in all aspects. 

  Comments - 9

  • Roshan damarathunga Wednesday, 29 July 2020 02:39 AM

    I do disagree with you. He might be a good leader but he was dancing for Ranils tune. We are us SRI Lankans not in dire situation now if these people hang on to power for last 50 years.

    Old Soldier Wednesday, 29 July 2020 05:56 AM

    A fitting tribute to a gentleman and soldier who led by example. I am sure that many of us who were associated with him in the playing field or battlefield would endorse the Air Vice Marshal's comments. He was firm and fair and most of all a humanitarian. It was unfortunate that Sri Lanka lost a great leader who was Presidential material and could have steered the country on a different path and united the country.

    Haramanis Wednesday, 29 July 2020 06:39 AM

    The General was an example to be followed both in Military and in Civilian Life. May he attain Nibbana

    MirakRajBanda Wednesday, 29 July 2020 12:52 PM

    He was the real hero, son of the soil not running away like a coward during the height of the war only to come to bask in the glory of victory. He fought a just war showing real courage and leadership and of course, there were no human rights violations or genocide accusation during his tenure as the commander in the Vanni region.

    Ranjith Samaranayake Wednesday, 29 July 2020 05:17 PM

    Roshan Damaratunga your comments are highly inappropriate . If there was a man silently punished for being related to a political family but getting about his job beyond the call of duty IT IS GENERAL KOBBEKADUWA . He was punished by the UNP. Shame on you Roshan

    Ananda Amarasinghe Thursday, 30 July 2020 07:11 AM

    General Kobbekaduwa is a true hero and highly respected by all professionals and who truly loved our country. He acted as a brave leader and died so. As a young medical officer at GH Anuradhapura, I was fortunate to meet him a few times in 1990. His medical knowledge and compassion to patients were highly valued by all of us at GH Anuradhapura . Kindly request not to make political commentary to insult this national hero

    Sarath Friday, 31 July 2020 03:18 PM

    That photo shows how much cared for an ordinary soldier. Unlike the phony "General" Ratwatte.

    Lanka perera Saturday, 01 August 2020 10:57 PM

    An officer and a gentleman. The late Gen. Kobbekaduwa is definitely the greatest general so far. If Presidents MR and GR had him they would have finished the LTTE terrorism before 2009! DK had to deal with scum like CBK and Ranil!

    Gentleman Jim Tuesday, 04 August 2020 09:58 PM

    @ Lankan Perera, Please do not make a fool of yourself Gen Kobbekaduwa died in 1992 and at that time Ranil or Chandrika were not in power,It was Premadasa who was the President and D B Wijetunge the Prime Minister Ranil became PM only in 1993 and Chandrika in 1994 Please get your facts right before you write

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