Siddhesh Joshi (Editor)

Mohan Jayamaha

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Covid-19
Years of service  23 years
Service/branch  Sri Lanka Navy
Rank  Rear admiral
Name  Mohan Jayamaha
Allegiance  Sri Lanka

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Commands held  Commander, Northern Naval Area, Commander, Western Naval Area
Awards  Rana Wickrama Padakkama, Vishista Seva Vibhushanaya, Uttama Seva Padakkama
Died  August 8, 1992, Jaffna, Sri Lanka

Battles/wars  Sri Lankan Civil War
Battles and wars  Sri Lankan Civil War

Rear Admiral Conan Anthony Mohan Jayamaha, RWP, VSV, USP, psc, SLN (January 12, 1949–August 8, 1992 ) was a Sri Lankan Admiral. He was Commander, Northern Naval Area of the Sri Lanka Navy when he was killed from wounds sustained in a land mine explosion that killed 7 other senior military officers including Lieutenant General Denzil Kobbekaduwa in island of Kayts while making preparations for Operation Final Countdown the proposed invasion of the Jaffna Peninsula.

Contents

Early life

Born in Colombo, Jayamaha received his education at St. Joseph's College, Colombo, where he excelled as an athlete.

He joined the navy as a Cadet Officer in the Royal Ceylon Navy in July 1969 in the first batch of the Naval and Maritime Academy in Trincomalee. He was promoted to Midshipmen in July 1970, Acting Sub Lieutenant on January 1, 1972 and followed the Sub Lieutenant Technical Course at INS Venduruthy. He was commissioned as a Sub Lieutenant on July 1, 1973. In 1974 he was promoted to Lieutenant and attended the Navigation & Direction School at INS Venduruthy from 1976 to 1977. In 1982 he was promoted to Lieutenant Commander and attended the Joint Services Staff College in Canberra. Thereafter he was promoted to Commander in 1985 and Captain in 1987. In 1988 he was appointed Commander Western Naval Area and went on the serve as Director Personal and Training and Director of Naval Operations. In 1990 he was promoted to the rank of Commodore and was appointed Commander Northern Naval Area on November 11, 1991.

Admiral Jayamaha had been awarded the Rana Wickrama Padakkama, Vishista Seva Vibhushanaya, Uttama Seva Padakkama, Sri Lanka Armed Services Long Service Medal and Clasp, Republic of Sri Lanka Armed Services Medal, Ceylon Armed Services Long Services Medal and Clasp, Purna Bhumi Medal, President’s Inauguration Medal and the Sri Lanka Navy 25th Anniversary Medal.

Death

In July 1992, General Kobbekaduwa was preparing for a new offensive to recapture the Jaffna peninsula which was under LTTE control, it was code named "Operation Final Count Down". Since the launching pad for the offensive was the island of Kayts on August 7, General Kobbekaduwa moved to Karainagar naval base by helicopter with his staff. He spent much of the night planning the upcoming offensive with Brigadier Vijaya Wimalaratne, Jaffna Brigade Commander and Commodore Mohan Jayamaha. Due to concerns of the navy about the staging area it was decided to visit the Araly point the next day.

At 8.00 am the group made up of Maj. General Kobbekaduwa, Brigadier Wimalaratne and Commodore Jayamaha along with several other officers headed out on a naval patrol boat towards Jaffna and returned to Kayts pier. On returning the party was met by three Land Rovers, the General, the Brigadier and the Commodore got into the Land Rover UHA 8752 with the rest of the army personal taking vehicle no UHA 8785 and the naval personal taking 5959. From there they set out to Araly Point. Half way the General order that they all use one vehicle as to not to attract fire form LTTE units in the Jaffna peninsula which was only half a kilometer away. They reached Araly Point and had a discussion and headed back when the Land Rover was consumed by an explosion. Major Rupasinghe and Major Induruwa who were 400 yards away from the incident ran to the location to find all but General Kobbekaduwa and Commodore Jayamaha alive. Killed in the explosion was Brigadier Wimalaratne, Lt. Colonels G.H. Ariyaratne, A. Palipahana, H.R. Stephen, all three battalion commanders, Lieutenant Commander Asanga Lankathilaka, Lieutenant Commander C.B Wijepura, Major Nalin S. De Alwis; the General's Aide-de-camp and Corporal Jagath Wickramaratna. The two wounded officers were rushed to the helicopter waiting to transport the group to base, which took them to the military hospital in Plalay where it Commodore Jayamaha was found dead on arrival. General Kobbekaduwa who was awake was then transferred to the Colombo General Hospital for surgery via helicopter. Where a specialist team of surgeons were unable to save his life.

He was posthumously promoted to Rear Admiral. At the time of his death he was the third most senior officer in the navy. A memorial service was held for the Admiral at All Saint's Church Borella presided by the Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith, then Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Colombo. Weera Mohan Jayamaha MMV in Dambulla was named after him and a statue of Admiral Jayamaha was erected in Ratmalana.

Family

Admiral Jayamaha was married to Vinodhra Jayamaha, they had a son and a daughter.

References

Mohan Jayamaha Wikipedia


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