Daya Sandagiri (VSV, USP RCDs, MSc (DS), psc, FCMI), the retired 14th Naval Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy, met the opposition leader Sajith Premadasa and joined the Samagi Jana Balawegaya to express support for his political journey.
Due to his vast knowledge and experience in the maritime and naval sector, the opposition leader Mr. Sajith Premadasa took steps to appoint him as a consultant on maritime and naval policies of the United People’s Force.
He was appointed as the Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy on January 1, 2001, due to his generous contribution to the 3-decade war. He also goes down in history as the most experienced Naval Commander in the 53-year history of the Navy. Vice Admiral Daya Sandagiri led the Sri Lanka Navy admirably for almost 4 years after he was appointed the Navy Commander and he worked to transform his troops into a strong force capable of facing the challenges faced by Sri Lanka as an island nation in the South Asian region.
He was promoted as the Navy Commander and served in that position for four years and eight months. After retirement, he was appointed Chief of Defense Staff with the rank of Admiral on 1 September 2005. He became the fourth Chancellor of the Defense University General Sir John Kotalawala on 9 November 2015 after retiring from that position on 12 June 2005.
Admiral Daya Sandagiri, who was born in Wayangoda, received his schooling at St. Mary’s College, Wayangoda and Kegalle College, Kegalle. On 14th November 1966, he joined the then Royal Ceylon Navy and on 1st July 1969, he joined the first batch of naval cadets to join the Naval and Maritime Academy, Trincomalee. . After that, on 1 July 1972, he joined the Navy as a Sub-Lieutenant.
After successful completion of his training in Sri Lanka, he went to India for a Sub Lieutenant Technical Course and Specialization in Gunnery. He graduated from the Defense Services Staff College, Wellington, India in 1984 and had the honour of serving as the Commanding Officer of the Naval and Maritime Academy. He is also the first naval officer to attend postgraduate studies at the world-renowned Royal College of Defense Studies in the United Kingdom.
He also had the honour of being the Area Commander of the Northern, Eastern, Western and Southern Naval Commands. During his service, he has also served on the ship Gajabahu, the ship Nauka Vikrama, the merchant ship Lanka Kanti of the Ceylon Shipping Corporation and the motor tanker Mahaweli of the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation.
Promoted to the rank of Commander on 1 January 1985, he held key staff appointments such as Regulation and Security Officer, Staff Welfare Officer, Staff Communications Officer, Staff Intelligence Officer and Deputy Director of Naval Operations at Naval Headquarters. He was later promoted to the rank of Captain and Commodore on 1 April 1989 and 1 March 1994 respectively.
He was also promoted to the rank of Rear Admiral on 8 March 1997 and appointed Chief of Staff on 1 April 1998. For his achievements during his service, he has been awarded the Distinguished Service Medal, Uttama Seva Medal, Sri Lanka Republic Armed Service Medal, Sri Lanka Navy 50th Anniversary Medal, Sri Lanka Armed Services Long Service Medal, Presidential Attainment Medal, 50th Independence Anniversary Commemoration Awarded several medals including Medal and North East Operations.