The following information on the newly appointed Commander of the Navy provided by the Sri Lanka Navy.
( August 22, 2017, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) Vice Admiral Travis Jeremy Liyanduru Sinniah was educated at the Trinity College, Kandy and St. Joseph’s College, Trincomalee. He joined the Naval and Maritime Academy, Trincomalee, as an Officer Cadet in 1982, and graduated in 1984. He was provided a scholarship at the Britannia Royal Naval College, Dartmouth, from which he graduated in1986. His training at HMS Dryad, HMS Mercury, HMS Collingwood and HMS Vernon at Portsmouth in the United Kingdom, has been among the best in the world. He has served on board British Warships during his time with the Royal Navy.
Vice Admiral Sinniah was the senior-most naval officer to be in active combat operations at sea during the war. He was awarded the highest combat medal (granted to a living officer) for exceptional valour and gallantry, the Weera Wickrama Vibhushanaya (WWV), and recommended for field promotion to the rank of Rear Admiral on account of his exceptional contribution to the war effort. His most significant Gallantry awards are the Weera Wickrama Vibushanaya (WWV), awarded for individual acts of gallantry and conspicuous bravery of a military nature of a high order in the face of the enemy, the Rana Wickrama Padakkama (RWP), awarded for exceptional gallantry in the face of the enemy and the Rana Sura Padakkama (RSP), awarded and re-awarded for gallantry in the face of the enemy. His other awards are the Uththama Seva Padakkama (USP), the Vadamarachchi campaign medal, the Riviresa campaign medal with clasp, the North & East operation medal with double clasp, the Sri Lanka long service medal with clasp, the Purna Bhoomi operation medal, the Sri Lanka independence 50th anniversary medal and the Humanitarian operation medals for the north and the east with clasps.
The admiral received his specialization in Naval Communications and Electronic warfare at HMS Mercury, Petersfield, Portsmouth and INS Venduruthi, Cochin, India. He attended the Defence Services Staff College at Wellington, India and was conferred the Master of Science degree in Defence and Strategic Studies. He has also followed a special course on Diplomacy and holds a Diploma in International Studies.
Vice Admiral Sinniah is a Counter Terrorism Fellow (CTF) of the National Defence University, Washington DC. USA and he was the “Distinguished Graduate” at the NDU for the year 2005. He has also followed the Defence Cooperation Course conducted by the Defence Institute of Security Assistance Management, Ohio.
Vice Admiral Sinniah is a front line Executive Officer who has served in all the fighting Squadrons of the SLN. He has held the prominent appointments of Flag Officer Commanding Naval Fleet, Commandant Naval and Maritime Academy, Deputy Area Commander East, Commandant Volunteer Naval Force and Commander Eastern Naval Area. He commanded the flag ship of the Sri Lanka Navy, in 2007. He served in the elite 4th Fast Attack Flotilla as a Squadron Commander and subsequently commanded the Flotilla as its Commanding Officer (FAF4). In addition, he has served as Commanding Officer on board Sri Lanka Navy’s OPV’s, FMV’s, FGB’s and FPC’s.
The admiral has held various staff positions at the Naval Headquarters, which include Naval Assistant to the Commander of the Navy, Staff Officer Projects and Plans, Senior Staff Officer Research and Development, Director Naval Projects and Plans and R&D and Deputy Director Naval Administration. He has also served as Deputy Area Commander of the Eastern, Northern and North Western Naval Commands.
Vice Admiral Sinniah is a respected instructor and an eloquent speaker. He has represented the Navy at innumerable seminars and conferences, and read papers at the same. He spearheaded the establishment of the Naval wing for the Defence Services Staff College at Batalanda, laying down its syllabi and planning its initial courses.
Vice Admiral Sinniah is a specialist in counter terrorism and littoral warfare expert. He was nominated to guide the Maldivian Defence Forces (MNDF) in formulating their maritime security strategy and counter-terrorism doctrine, which was implemented in 2008; it remains as the MNDF foundation policy on counter-terrorism at sea and on land.
He was instrumental in the design and modification of naval guns for the SLN, working closely with Royal Ordnance UK, and in the design of the Super Dvora class of FAC with Israeli aircraft industries. He was also the design leader for the indigenous 30mm stabilized gun of the SLN.
Vice Admiral Sinniah is a sharp shooter and an “X” marksman. He is an excellent IPSC practical pistol shooter who captained the navy team in 2001/2002. He is a keen sportsman, and represented the Navy in basketball, soccer, rugby, squash and badminton.
Vice Admiral Sinniah is a battle-hardened officer who has been awarded and re-awarded for valour and gallantry. He led the Naval Task Force in the destruction of LTTE “warehouse” ships . This monumental operation, “Sagara Balaya”, was the turning point in the war against the LTTE, and heralded its end. He has 37 LTTE hits under his command, and counts over 70 hits by the fleet during his tenure as Commander of the Fast Attack Flotilla. Vice Admiral Sinniah was the officer who apprehended the infamous LTTE ship “Kadalpura” with 19 black sea tigers on-board, including the LTTE second-in-command and 9 LTTE leaders, which was a significant milestone in the course of the war.
Vice Admiral Sinniah has been mentioned in dispatches and personally commended by the President of Sri Lanka for acts of conspicuous bravery, exceptional gallantry and outstanding service to the nation.
Prior to his appointment as the 21st Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy, Vice Admiral Sinniah held the post of Commander Eastern Naval Area. He hails from Kandy, the hill capital of Sri Lanka.