Ministry of Defence: Ministers and Officials

From TobaccoUnmasked

This post compiles profiles of individuals linked to the Ministry of Defence, who were subsequently targeted by the tobacco industry with various tactics of influence. You can access detailed information on individuals and incidents mentioned in this post by clicking on the respective names and links.

This page will continuously be updated with more profiles and new information as and fresh evidence and reports emerge. This page was last updated in June 2019.


The Ministry of Defence of the Sri Lankan government is responsible for the development and execution of policies and actions related to security of the country.[1]

Image 1: Ministry of Defence website

Chief of Staff and the Commander of the Sri Lanka Army: Denis Perera

Denis Perera served in the Sri Lanka Army for 32 years, in which he held high rank positions as Chief of Staff and Commander. He was the first Vice Chancellor of the Sir John Kothalawala Defense University (KDU), the state owned higher education institution manged by the Ministry of Defence.[2][3]

Links with the Tobacco Industry

After his retirement from the SL Army, Denis Perera served in the Board of Directors of the Ceylon Tobacco Company PLC (CTC), the British American Tobacco (BAT) subsidiary holding monopoly of cigarette manufacturing and sales in Sri Lanka. He was in the CTC Director’s Board for 16 years (1986 - 2002), five years of which he served as the Chairman (1998 – 2002).[4][5]

Please see the post Denis Perera for more details.

Secretary of Defence: Gotabaya Rajapaksa

Gotabaya Rajapaksa served in the Sri Lanka Army from 1971 to 1992, holding high rank posts during the early years of civil war of the country. He was also the Deputy Commandant of the Sir John Kothalawala Defence University in 1991 and 1992. He was appointed as the Secretary of Defence and Urban Development in November 2005 and held the post until January 2015. He is the younger brother of the President of Sri Lanka during the period, President Mahinda Rajapksa.

Tobacco Related Activities

  • Receiving Sponsorships
Gotabaya Rajapaksa received sponsorships from the Ceylon Tobacco Company PLC (CTC) for:
  • Participation in CTC events
A rest room for pilgrims at Girihandu Seya was constructed with financial aid from the CTC. Gotabaya Rajapaksa was the Guest of Honour at its opening ceremony.[8][9][10][11]

Please see the post Gotabaya Rajapaksa for more details.

Tobacco Unmasked Resources

Other relevant TobaccoUnmasked entries:

The local language translations



  1. Ministry of Defence Sri Lanka. Website, 2009, accessed June 2019
  2. Sri Lanka Army website. General Deshamannya Denis Perera Oration Delivered, 12 August 2016, accessed April 2017
  3. S Peiris. Denis Perera The General of All Generals, Daily Mirror, 10 October 2013, accessed April 2017
  4. Ceylon Tobacco Company PLC. Annual Report 2002, 2003, Colombo: CTC
  5., Ceylon Tobacco reports superior performance, upbeat for the future, 29 April 2003, accessed April 2017
  6. Daily FT MNCs extend support for ‘Api Wenuwen Api’ fund, 6 July 2013, Accessed January 2019
  7. Ceylon Tobacco Company PLC. Annual Report 2016, 2017, Accessed January 2019
  8. Asian Tribune. Secretary Defence declares opens Pilgrims Rest at Girihandu Seya, 21 July 2014, assessed August 2017
  9. The Island. Secretary Defence declares open Pilgrims Rest at Girihandu Seya,27 July 2014, assessed August 2017
  10. K.A.D Fonseka. Commemorative plaque, 02 October 2015, assessed December 2017
  11. Ministry of Defence and Urban Development Sri Lanka. Secretary Defence Declares Open Pilgrims’ Rest at Girihandu Seya, 19 July 2014