Sri Lankan President appoints former Navy Commander as provincial Governor

Karannagoda, 69, will replace Raja Collure, who passed away earlier this week after succumbing to COVID-19.

Published: 09th December 2021 07:55 PM  |   Last Updated: 09th December 2021 07:55 PM   |  A+A-

Sri Lanka Flag

Sri Lanka Flag (Photo | AFP)


COLOMBO: Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda, the former Navy Commander, who served during the final phase of Sri Lankan government's triumphant campaign against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), was appointed the Governor of the North-Western province, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa's office said on Thursday.

Karannagoda, 69, will replace Raja Collure, who passed away earlier this week after succumbing to COVID-19.

Before serving as the Commander of the Navy, he commanded four Operational Naval Commands on seven occasions, and also had the distinction of being the only officer to be considered to the highest seating of the Commander of the Navy, after being elevated from a Naval Area Command.

Karannagoda also served as Secretary to the Ministry of Transport following the end of the civil war in 2009.

After retiring from the Navy, he was also picked to be the Ambassador to Japan.

Karannagoda, however, also had his share of controversies.

A high-level probe was ordered over his alleged role in the disappearance of 11 Tamilians in 2009.

However, in October this year, Sri Lanka's Attorney General decided to drop all charges against him, including conspiracy to murder, a move that drew widespread international condemnation.

The LTTE had waged a war with the Sri Lankan government to carve out a separate Tamil homeland with the conflict ending in 2009 when the government forces killed its chief Velupillai Prabhakaran.

According to the Lankan government figures, over 20,000 people are missing due to various conflicts including the three-decade brutal war with the LTTE in the north and east, which claimed at least 100,000 lives.


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