He was subsequently promoted to the ranks of Captain (1985), Major (1989), Lieutenant Colonel (1994), Colonel (1997), Brigadier (2003) and Major General on 30 November 2009. Upon his assumption of the Army Commander’s Office on 22 February 2015, he was elevated to the rank of Lieutenant General. Blending wide experience and service, General De Silva has held many key staff appointments at the Army Headquarters, including the appointments of Military Secretary, Director Operations, Additional Military Secretary, Director Plans and Colonel (Administration) at the Directorate of Personnel Administration.In addition, he was the Commandant, Chief Instructor and Directing Staff at the Army Command and Staff College and was the first officer to hold all three appointments. Further, he was the Chief Instructor of the Sri Lanka Military Academy at Diyatalawa and the Commandant of the Sri Lanka School of Military Engineering.As one of the most distinguished Officers in the Regiment, General De Silva has commanded the 6 Field Engineer Regiment and later served as the Colonel Commandant of the Corps of Sri Lanka Engineers. President Maithripala Sirisena, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces has promoted the Commander of the Army, Lieutenant General Crishanthe De Silva RWP VSV USP ndu psc, to the rank of General to be effective from Tuesday (27 June 2017).He has been serving as the 21st Commander of the Sri Lanka Army to-date since 22 February 2015. He took office as the Chief of Staff on 1 August 2013 before undertaking an overseas assignment as Deputy Chief of Mission to the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Moscow on 16 May 2014.General Crisanthe De Silva, who has wide-ranging experience in various command, staff and instructional appointments, commanded the Sri Lanka Army Volunteer Force as its Commandant before he was appointed the Chief of Staff. He was also the Commander of the Security Force Headquarters, Kilinochchi and has served as Commander of the Forward Maintenance Area-East and Kilinochchi. Further, he commanded the Engineer Brigade, 512 and 562 Infantry Brigades as well. Enlisted to the Army on 6th February 1980 and commissioned afterwards on 18th July 1981 as a Second Lieutenant in the Corps of Sri Lanka Engineers, he counts an exemplary service career spanning over 37 years in the Army. To his credit, he has attended a number of local and foreign courses of academic and professional value, including the Young Officers’ Course at the prestigious Military College of Engineering Risalpur, Pakistan, his first overseas course. He is also a graduate of the Army Command and Staff College, Camberley, UK and Higher Command College Nanjing, China. He has also obtained a Masters Degree in Defence Studies from National Resilience Institute (Lembaga Ketahanan Nasional), the equivalent of National Defence University of Indonesia.In addition, he has attended the Senior Command Course at the College of Combat Mhow India, Bomb Disposal Course at the College of Military Engineering Pune, India, Engineer Officers Combat Engineering Instructor Course, Pune, India, Engineer Officers Earth-moving Plant, Workshop & Construction Plant, Pune, India, Engineer Company Commanders’ Course at the Military College of Engineering Risalpur, Pakistan and the Advanced Security Cooperation Executive Course at the Asia Pacific Centre for Security Studies, Hawai, USA.General De Silva is a proud product of the prestigious Royal College, Colombo and is more popularly known as ‘Crisanthe’ in the organization and among his associates. General De Silva is married to Mrs Nayana De Silva is blessed with twin sons. (Colombo Gazette) He has actively contributed to counter insurgency operations against the LTTE and was awarded the gallantry medals of Rana Wickrama Padakkama (RWP) and the Uttama Seva Padakkama (USP) for his unblemished military career. He has also been awarded the Vishista Seva Vibhushanaya (VSV) medal for excellent and distinguished career of uninterrupted service.
Petra Diamonds has entered into an agreement to acquire a 75% interest in Tanzania’s renowned Williamson diamond mine for a cash consideration of $10 million. At 146 ha, Williamson is the largest kimberlite pipe ever to be mined, and has been operated continuously as an open pit for almost 70 years. During this time it has produced over 20 Mct, and there remains a substantial resource of some 40 Mct, reportedly. The mine regularly produces large, high quality stones and is a source of rare and extremely valuable fancy pink diamonds. Petra will acquire the entire issued share capital of Willcroft Co from Cheviot Holdings, a wholly owned subsidiary of De Beers S.A. Willcroft owns 75% of Williamson Diamonds Ltd (WDL), the sole owner and operator of the Williamson mine, while the Government of Tanzania owns the remaining 25%. Petra says the total cash consideration of $10 million will be funded entirely from internal cash resources. The acquisition is scheduled for completion in mid October 2008.The acquisition marks Petra’s entry into Tanzania, further diversifying the group’s geographical spread. The acquisition is in line with the group’s aim of creating a diamond production portfolio of global significance, complemented by a substantial and valuable resource base.Johan Dippenaar, Petra’s Chief Executive Officer, commented: “Petra already owns three major diamond mines, Cullinan, Koffiefontein and on completion, Kimberley Underground. Williamson will add a further major mine to our portfolio, with the potential to deliver considerable value to our shareholders. This acquisition also marks Petra’s entry into Tanzania, further diversifying the Group’s geographical spread across Africa. We thank the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania for their support in completing this transaction and we look forward to working with the Government as our partner in taking the mine forward.”