Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda RSP, VSV, USP, MBA, MSc, ndc, psc, DISS, MRIN, MNI
01.09.2005 to 15.07.2009
Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda assumed Command of the Sri Lanka Navy on 1st September 2005. In the 59-year history of the Sri Lanka Navy, he is the only officer to be considered to the highest seat of the Commander of the Navy straight from a Naval Area Command.
He has achieved many firsts in his distinguished, decorative and unblemished Naval Career. Incidentally, he is the first Naval Officer to be conferred with two Masters Degrees. He possesses Masters in Business Administration as well as in Defence Studies. He is also a member of the Royal Institute of Navigation and the Nautical Institute of the United Kingdom.
He is a distinguished alumni of the Asia Pacific Center for Security Studies in Hawaii as well as the Near East-South Asia Center for Strategic Studies at the National Defence University in Washington D.C. He has the unique distinction of attending the Royal Naval Staff College in the United Kingdom in 1987 and prestigious National Defence College in Pakistan in 2000 and graduated from institutions with distinction.
He has commanded the four Operational Naval Commands on seven occasions - Northern, Eastern and Western Commands twice each and North Central once, for a total period spanning six years. He has aptly displayed his administrative skills as a Area Commander and won the administration and accolades of the ‘Naval Family' for his ardent desire to boost up the infrastructure and living standards by successfully completing the projects with Naval resources and saving considerable sums of money.
Admiral Karannagoda was the first ever Director General (Operations) at Naval Headquarters. Prior to that he served as Director Naval Operations, Director Naval Projects and Plans as well as Director Naval Personnel and Training.
He had the honour of serving as the Commandant of the Naval & Maritime Academy, which certainly had an influence in his professional career. He also had served in the appointments of Deputy Area Commander (West), Deputy Area Commander (North) and Deputy Area Commander (East).
As a specialized Navigator, he has held numerous appointments onboard Naval ships. He easily counts long years at sea and his sea career culminated in 1992 onboard SLNS Wickrama with the relinquishing of command and duties as the Commander of the 7th Surveillance Command Squadron.
Admiral Karannagoda was promoted to his present rank of Admiral by His Excellency Mahinda Rajapaksa, President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces in appreciation of his contributions to win the battle against LTTE Terrorism and being the key personality behind the country’s Naval Strategy. In the annals of its illustrious history spanning well over 59 years, Admiral Karannagoda has become the first ever Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy to hold the prestigious four star rank while in the active Naval service.
He is a recipient of the Rana Sura Padakkama for gallantry. Among the other medals awarded to him are Vishista Seva Vibhushanaya, Uttama Seva Padakkama, Republic of Sri Lanka Armed Service Medal, Sri Lanka Navy 50th Anniversary Medal, Sri Lanka Armed Service Long Service Medal, President's Inauguration Medal, 50th Independence Anniversary Commemoration Medal, North and East Operation Medal, Purna Bhumi Padakkama and Riviresa Campaign Service Medal.