Gotabaya Rajapaksa

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Gotabaya Rajapaksa, born on 20th June 1949 at Weerakatiya Sri Lanka, is a retired officer of the Sri Lanka Army, and a former Secretary to the Ministry of Defence and Urban Development of Sri Lanka.[1]

He had the formal education at Ananda College, Colombo 10. He is the younger brother of the 6th President of Sri Lanka Mahinda Rajapaksa and the son of the parliamentarian and former Deputy Speaker of Parliament DA Rajapaksa. He has a Masters’ degree in Defence Studies from the University of Madras and a Postgraduate degree in Information Technology from the University of Colombo. Gotabaya served in the Sri Lanka Army through the early years of the country's civil war against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and retired in 1992 after 20 years of service. He immigrated to the United States of America after his retirement and with the election of his brother Mahinda Rajapaksa as President of Sri Lanka, he returned and got appointed as the Secretary of Ministry of Defence and Urban Development.[2][3][1]

In 2019 media named him as a potential candidate for the next Presidential elections in Sri Lanka, planned to be held in 2020.[4]

Image 1: Gotabaya Rajapaksa.Picture curtsy: Google Images

Political/Government Positions held[1][3]

  • Sri Lanka Army - 1971–1992
  • Deputy Commandant of Sir John Kotelawala Defence University – 1991 - 1992
  • Secretary of Defense and Urban Development - November 2005 to January 2015

Tobacco Related Activities

Receiving Sponsorships

For Construction of Police Stations

In July 2014 Ceylon Tobacco Company PLC (CTC), a subsidiary of the British American Tobacco (BAT), made a financial donation for the construction of a new Police station at Weerakatiya in the Matara District. The donation was handed over to the Secretary of Defence despite police coming under the purview of Ministry of Law and Order (Image 2).[5] According to the CTC annual Report 2013, that construction was done at the request of Ministry of Defence and was the third such police station constructed with CTC funds. Mankulam and Kilinochchi police stations being the first and the second, were in the Northern part of the country and Weerakatiya was the only station in Southern Sri Lanka reported to be reconstructed by CTC funds.[6] For more details please visit the TobaccoUnmasked pages Weeraketiya Police Station and Reopening of Kilinochchi and Mankulam Police Stations.

Image 2: CTC Managing Director and Chief Executive Felicio Ferraz handing over the donation to the then Secretary Defence and Urban Development Gotabaya Rajapaksa, at the Ministry of Defense in July 2014.[7]

For Construction of Army Welfare Shops

According to CTC Annual Report 2016, they funded the construction of Army welfare shops between the year 2006 and 2011.[8]

For Construction of 'Api Wenuwen Api' Cafeterias

'Api Wenuwen Api' is a fund for a housing project for military service men and women in Sri Lanka, implemented in collaboration with Ministry of Defence and the Central Bank of Sri Lanka. A cafeteria, affliated to 'Api Wenuwen Api', built at Madiwela, Colombo was declared open by Gotabaya as the Secretary of Defence and Urban Development on 05th November 2012 (Image 3).[9] CEO of CTC James Yamanaka and CTC directors including Dinesh Dharmadasa were also present at the occasion.

Image 3: Gotabhaya at the opening of Api Wenuwen Api cafeteria constructed by Ceylon Tobacco Company PLC (CTC) at Madiwela on 5th November 2012[10]

Participation in CTC Events

A rest room for pilgrims at Girihandu Seya was constructed with financial aid from the Ceylon Tobacco Company PLC (CTC). Gotabaya was the Guest of Honor at its opening ceremony (Image 3 and 4).[11][12][13][14] The construction of the pilgrims’ rest room was a combined project of the John Keells Holdings PLC (JKH) (John Keells Foundation) and CTC. Susantha Ratnayake was the chairman of both companies at the time. To read more visit the TobaccoUnmasked page Rest Room for Pilgrims at Girihandu Seya.

Image 3: Opening of Girihandu Seya Pilgrims’ Rest by the Secretary of Defence Gotabhaya Rajapaksha. Milinda Moragoda is also in the photograph.[12]
Image 4: Commemorative plaque displayed on the pilgrims’ rest announcing the sponsorship of CTC[13]

Tobacco Unmasked Resources

Other relevant TobaccoUnmasked entries:


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Ministry of Defence Sri Lanka. Former Defence Secretaries, Accessed January 2019
  2. R Somarathna. Ananda Icons: Meteoric rise of Ananda's patriotic sons, Daily News, 3 July 2009, Accessed June 2019
  3. 3.0 3.1 Singapore International Water Week Pte. Ltd. Speakers – Participants, Water leaders’ platform, 2007, Accessed June 2019
  4. K Bandara. People want nontraditional politicians – Gotabhaya Rajapksa, Daily Mirror, 22 January 2019, Accessed June 2019
  5. Daily FT MNCs extend support for ‘Api Wenuwen Api’ fund, 6 July 2013, Accessed January 2019
  6. Ceylon Tobacco Company PLC. Annual Report 2014, Accessed January 2019
  7. Ministry of Defence Sri Lanka Website. CTC assists for the new police station in Weeraketiya accessed on 04 October 2018
  8. Ceylon Tobacco Company PLC. Annual Report 2016, 2017, Accessed January 2019
  9. Ministry of Defence and Urban Development 'Api Wenuwen Api' cafeteria opens for public, Accessed January 2019
  10. Ministry of Defense and urban Development, ‘Api Wenuwen Api’ cafeteria opens for public, 5 November 2012, Accessed August 2018
  11. Asian Tribune. Secretary Defence declares opens Pilgrims Rest at Girihandu Seya, 21 July 2014, assessed August 2017
  12. 12.0 12.1 The Island. Secretary Defence declares open Pilgrims Rest at Girihandu Seya,27 July 2014, assessed August 2017
  13. 13.0 13.1 K.A.D Fonseka. Commemorative plaque, 02 October 2015, assessed December 2017
  14. Ministry of Defence and Urban Development Sri Lanka. Secretary Defence Declares Open Pilgrims’ Rest at Girihandu Seya, 19 July 2014