Rana Wickrama Padakkama (RWP)
Rana Shura Padakkama (RSP)
Uththama Sewa Padakkama (USP)
After being appointed as a Second Lieutenant on 23 June 1983, Mahesh Senanayake was inducted into the Sri Lanka Army’s 1st Mechanical Engineering Regiment. He held the ranks of Commanding Officer of the Sri Lanka Army Mechanical Engineer Regiment, Commanding Officer and Squadron Officer, as well as Cadet Officer Advisor at the Sri Lanka Military Academy. In addition, Mahesh Senanayake willingly joined the Special Forces in 1989. Senanayake actively participated in all the military operations in the North and East under numerous leadership positions.
He also held the position of Commanding Officer of the 3rd Special Force, introducing the concept of LRP / LRRP. This extraordinary officer held the rank of Commander of the Special Forces Regiment, 211st Infantry Brigade (Vavuniya), Special Forces Brigade and Commander 52 (Infantry Regiment, Jaffna).
At the critical time of the war, this senior officer served as the Chief of Staff of the 52nd Division Headquarters, Colonel Chief of Staff of the Security Forces Headquarters and the Brigadier Chief of Staff in Jaffna. He also served as the Officer Instructor of the Sapugaskanda Defense Services Command and Administration College and the Implementing Director of the Army Headquarters during the final phase of the humanitarian operation.
Former Army Commander Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka contested for presidency in the year 2010. After his defeat in the presidency he was arrested and sentenced to jail and dismissed from the service. Mahesh Senanayake plus 12 officers working under Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka were dismissed from their duties by the Former Defense Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa. This were conveyed by a letter on the 30th of January 2010. The letter further stated that the order was issued by President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Mahesh Senanayake and the other officers were deprived of their services, salaries, posts, housing, pensions, etc. overnight.
Mahesh Senanyake spoke about his deprived lifestyle after the dismissal to his post to the Island Newspaper on 2017.07.22 stating, “At the time the ghosts of the contracting army of politicians chased us like crazy dogs. My wife and children feared for their lives. We were so traumatized that my wife and children later had to undergo psychiatric treatment. I finally decided to leave the country.”
Mahesh Senanayake, who fought brutal terrorists like Prabhakaran, left the country for the safety of his wife and three children. After Mahinda Rajapakse lost his position as president in the year 2015, General Mahesh Senanayake returned to his homeland with his family. He was appointed to the post of Military Secretary at the Sri Lanka Army Headquarters in February 2015 by the present government. He was appointed Commanding Officer of SFHQ-J in 2016, during which time he was responsible for overseeing the resettlement of IDPs in Jaffna.
General Mahesh Senanayake was promoted to the rank of Chief of Army Staff on March 22, 2017 and was subsequently promoted to the rank of Lieutenant General and Army Commander on July 4, 2017 by order of President Maithripala Sirisena.
He retired from the army after being promoted to the rank of general on August 21, 2019. The Service Medal (USP) was also awarded.