Rixon, who has played 13 Tests and 6 ODIs for Australia and also served as their assistant coach, will join the team in New Zealand on December 24.
"We are happy to welcome Steve into the team. I am sure he will be able to help the team moving forward, with his expertise in the area of fielding; which is a vital component of the game" said Ashley De Silva, CEO of Sri Lanka Cricket.
Rixon had stepped down as Pakistan's fielding coach in June after two years in his role, citing differences with the Pakistan Cricket Board over late payment and lack of professionalism. He was also offered Sri Lanka's head coach role in 2013, but had rejected the offer on grounds that the remuneration was "embarrassing" for an international coach.
Incumbent fielding coach Abeywickrema, meanwhile, will be drafted into the High Performance Center by Sri Lanka Cricket to work with the Development Squads.