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Former Defence Secretary General (Retd.) Cyril Ranatunga has passed away, it has been reported.

In 1988, he became the only officer to be promoted to the rank of General without ever being appointed as the Commander of the Army.

A distinguished old boy of St. Sylvester's College, Kandy, he joined the Army in 1950 and was appointed Chief of Staff of the Sri Lanka Army and Commander Security Forces Headquarters – Jaffna in 1982.

He also served as the Sri Lankan High Commissioner to Australia and the United Kingdom.

Funeral arrangements will be announced shortly.