Diyatalawa (the watered plain) is a former garrison town in the middle highlands of Sri Lanka, in the Uva Province. It is situated at upland of 1,499 m from the sea level and is a popular destination for local and foreign visitors. The garrison town area is the home to Sri Lankan Try Forces, which includes the Sri Lanka Military Academy, Sri Lanka Air Force Combat Training School and Sri Lanka Navy.
It is not known when Diyatalawa became a training station for the military, but history records show that, it was selected virtually in 1885 by the British Army who initially established a garrison at Diyatalawa. The British War Office was erected in Diyatalawa on 8 August 1900, in order to imprison the Boer prisoners who were captured during the Second Boer War. After World War II, the Royal Navy had a naval station in Diyatalawa, and it was later taken over by the Royal Ceylon Navy in 1956, subsequently in 1962 they had to move out and it was finally taken over by the Gemunu Watch (SL Army). Since then with periodical changes Diyatalawa continued to be the main military training hub. This cantonment consists with Sri Lanka Military Academy, Marksmanship and Sniper Training School and Volunteer Force Training School.
Upon the expansion of the organization of Sri Lanka Army, Security Force Headquarters (Central) was raised on 14th March 2013 in former Garrison town Diyatalawa in the central highlands with the mission of conducting military operations, civil-military cooperation activities in peace time and upgrade the facilities for under command troops to be prepared to uphold national security interests. Initially, the headquarters was established in premises of Sri Lanka Volunteer Force Training School and later it was relocated in the present location.
In order to ensure the security of Area of Responsibility, Security Force (Central) consists with 11 Infantry Division and 12 Infantry Division which are located in Kandy and Hambanthota respectively. The ground formation ensures security and coordinates all security related aspects of Six Districts belong to Central, Uva and Southern Province: Kandy, Matale, Nuwaraeliya, Monaragala, Badulla and Hambanthota. The total land area of Security Force (Central) is 16,767 square kilometers, and consists with a coastal area that covers 151.3 kilometers. The Area of Responsibility is composed of 74 Divisional Secretariats, and the total population is 4,437,923: 67% Sinhalese, 25% Tamil, 9% Moor and the rest is Burgher, Malay and Lanka Chitty.
Security Force (Central) has deployed troops covering the Area of Responsibility; in order to assist and provide relief for the civil authorities and civil community during natural disasters resulted by adverse weather condition that periodically prevails in the central highlands. The nation building tasks carried out by Army troops in Central & Southern provinces have uplifted the standards of living, education and socio economic status of the deserving communities and general public. During the past decade, recent pandemic situation and economic crisis in the country the Central troops made selfless dedication, courage, devotion to duty being the ‘Defenders of the Nation’.