Military of Sri Lanka

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The Sri Lanka Armed Forces is the overall unified military of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka encompassing the Sri Lanka Army, the Sri Lanka Navy, the Sri Lanka Air Force which comes under preview of the Ministry of Defence (MoD). The total strength of the three services numbers around 267,700 active personal who have voluntary joined, since military draft have never been imposed in Sri Lanka.

The Sri Lanka Armed Forces are currently in a fully mobilized (including reserves) state due to the Sri Lankan Civil War, which it fought against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE, also known as the Tamil Tigers) which is proscribed as a terrorist organization by 32 countries (see list).



Sri Lanka has a long military history going back 2000 years. The roots of the modern Sri Lanka military leads back to the colonial era when Portuguese, Dutch and British established local militias to support their wars against the local Kingdoms. The British created the Ceylon Rifle Regiment during the Kandyan wars, although it had natives in its ranks majority of it was made up of Malays. It was disbanded 1873.

The linage of the Sri Lanka Armed Forces dates back to 1881, when the British creates a volunteer reserve in the island named the Ceylon Light Infantry Volunteers. Created to supplement the British garrison in Ceylon in the event of an external threat, it gradually increased in size. In 1910 it was renamed the Ceylon Defence Force (CDF) and consisted of several regiments. The CDF mobilized for home defence in World War I and again in World War II when its units were deployed along with allied forces in Asia and Africa. At the end of the war it has grown in size of an independent brigade, but was de-mobilized in 1946 and disbanded in 1949. In 1937 the Ceylon Naval Volunteer Force was established (later renamed as the Ceylon Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve (CRNVR)), it mobilized for war in 1939 and was taken into the Royal Navy.

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