He succeeds Major General U. A. B Medawela who retired from the Army a few days ago.
The profile of Major General H.C.P Goonetilleke is as follows;
Major General H.C.P Goonetilleke enlisted in the Sri Lanka Army on 31 August 1981, having completed his primary and secondary education at St Benedict’s College Colombo 13 and Royal College Colombo 7. He followed the Basic Officer Cadet Course at the Sri Lanka Military Academy Diyatalawa passing out as the Best All Round Officer Cadet winning the Sword of Honour. He was commissioned in the Corps of Engineers as a Second Lieutenant on 17 July 1982.
Major General Goonetilleke has engaged explicitly in National Security, Human Resource Management, Military and Non Military Training, Humanitarian Emergency Relief, Disaster Risk Reduction, Youth Development, Administration and Logistics at the tactical, operational and strategic level. Some of the key appointments held by him include Security Force Commander (Central) and Military Secretary Army Headquarters during post conflict, Security Force Commander (Kilinochchi), General Officer Commanding of 56 Infantry Division and General Officer Commanding Mannar Area during the Humanitarian Operation from 2006 to 2009, Commander 551 Infantry Brigade (Nagarkovil), Commander 533 Infantry Brigade (Reserve Strike Force), and Commanding Officer 7 Field Engineer Regiment (Infantry role in Paranthan and Elephant Pass) during high intensity counter insurgency operations, Director Training Army Headquarters and Instructor at the Army Command and Staff College Sri Lanka.
He has the rare distinction of raising two Security Force Headquarters; Kilinochchi in 2009 and Central in 2013. He had the rare honour of leading the Sri Lanka Army delegations to both Inaugural Staff Talks between Sri Lanka and India in 2011 and Sri Lanka and Pakistan in 2012; initiatives that have propelled bilateral military relations to unprecedented heights. He masterminded the plan to execute the first ever international seminar organized by the Sri Lanka Army; Defence Seminar 2011. He also developed the concept and design of the inaugural South and South East Asian Nations Defence Chiefs’ Dialogue; a Sri Lankan initiative staged in Colombo in November 2014 with the participation of Defence Chiefs from SAARC, ASEAN, China and Russia. He has presented research findings to national and international audiences and supervised prize winning research work. The paper he presented at the Colombo Defence Seminar in 2012 on the “Role of the Military in Reconciliation” stands out.
He was conferred with the Human Resource Leadership Award at the Asia Pacific Human Resource Management Congress Awards 2014 in recognition of his initiative to uplift training for officers of the Tri Services while serving as the Director General Doctrine and Training at the Office of the Chief of Defence Staff.
He was selected to raise and lead the Youth Corps which is a non-military organization established by an Act of Parliament in the year 2000 to groom the youth of Sri Lanka to compete in the national and international job market successfully by imparting the necessary leadership and vocational skills.
He is a graduate of the Defence Services Command and Staff College Bangladesh and National Defence College Pakistan. He holds a Master’s Degree in Defence and Strategic Studies from the National Defence University Pakistan. He has been awarded a Diploma in Personnel Management by the National Institute of Business Management Sri Lanka. He has also participated in an impressive array of training programmes in Bangladesh, China, India, Pakistan, Switzerland and the USA.
Major General Goonetilleke has been decorated with the Rana Sura Padakkama (RSP) for gallantry and awarded the Vishishta Seva Vibushanaya for unblemished service and Uththamaseva Padakkma for distinguished service.
He is married to Lushanie and they are blessed with two daughters. He has been a versatile sportsman who enjoys Basketball, Soccer, Squash, Swimming and Practical Pistol Shooting. Inspiring and empowering his team to perform is his passion.