History is made: Admiral of the Fleet Wasantha Karannagoda becomes the first five-star Admiral of Sri Lanka
The state investiture ceremony to confer the Admiral of the Fleet rank to former Commander of the Navy, Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda (Retd) was held under the auspices of Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, the President of Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, His Excellency Maithripala Sirisena at the Colombo harbour premises today (19th September 2019). On this occasion the former Commander of the Air Force, Air Chief Marshal Roshan Goonetileke (Retd) was also conferred the Marshal of the Air Force rank.
Admiral of the Fleet Wasantha Karannagoda joined the Sri Lanka Navy on 01st August 1971 as an Officer Cadet and was commissioned as a Sub Lieutenant on 01st February 1974. Since then, he honed his professional skills over the years through experience and by following local and overseas courses. He was appointed the 15th Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy on 01st September 2005, having being promoted to the rank of Vice Admiral. With the culmination of the Humanitarian Operation on 18th May 2009 the senior officer was promoted to the rank of Admiral and he became the first ever Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy to hold the prestigious four-star rank while in the active naval service.
In recognition of the charismatic military leadership given to the Sri Lanka Navy by Admiral of the Fleet Wasantha Karannagoda for the culmination of the three-decade long ruthless terrorism, this five-star rank was conferred by the President of Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, His Excellency Maithripala Sirisena.
This memorable occasion was attended by Secretary to the Ministry of Defence, General Shantha Kottegoda (Retd), former Navy Commanders, Chief of Defence Staff, Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne, Commander of the Navy, Vice Admiral Piyal De Silva, Commanders of the Army and Air Force and a host of senior officers from the tri-services.