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

(By Courtesy of Daily Mirror)

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.



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