Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda RSP, VSV, USP, MBA, MSc, ndc, psc, DISS, MRIN, MNI, SLN was the Commander of the Sri Lankan Navy and former Sri Lankan Ambassador to Japan. Before serving as the Commander of the Navy he commanded four Operational Naval Commands on seven occasions. He has the distinction of being the only officer to be considered to the highest seating of the Commander of the Navy straight from a Naval Area Command. When he retired from his post on 15 July 2009,he was made the Advisor to the President on National Security.
After assuming command of the Navy, he changed the modus operandi of Sri Lankan Navy operations by increasing deep sea operations against LTTE arms. This ensured the success of naval operations against the LTTE with the destruction of over eight LTTE ships within a year.
He possesses a 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. Admiral Karannagoda is a product of Ananda College, Colombo.
During his naval carrier he has held many senior commands, including 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, first ever Director General (Operations) at Naval Headquarters, Director Naval Projects and Plans, Director Naval Personnel and Training, Commandant of the Naval & Maritime Academy, Deputy Area Commander (West), Deputy Area Commander (North) and Deputy Area Commander (East), Deputy Area Commander (south).
As a Navigator, he has served many years at sea. His sea career terminated in 1992 on board SLNS Wickrama (a Sri Lankan navy ship) with the abdication of command and duties as the Commander of the 7th Surveillance Command Squadron. In the early 1980s he had served as Flag Lieutenant for Admiral Basil Gunasekara, the then commander of the Navy.
During his years in the navy he was awarded the Rana Sura Padakkama medal, the Vishista Seva Vibhushanaya, the Uttama Seva Padakkama service medals and several other service and campaign medals including the Sri Lanka Armed Services Long Service Medal, North and East Operations Medal, Purna Bhumi Padakkama, Riviresa Campaign Services Medal, Republic of Sri Lanka Armed Services Medal, Sri Lanka Navy 50th Anniversary Medal, President's Inauguration Medal and the 50th Independence Anniversary Commemoration Medal.
He is an alumnus of the Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies, Hawaii, the Near East-South Asia Center for Strategic Studies at the National Defense University in Washington D.C., the Royal Naval Staff College in the United Kingdom, and the National Defence College of Pakistan.
After the conclusion of Eelam War IV and the demise of the LTTE, he was awarded the rank of Admiral by the President of Sri Lanka, Mahinda Rajapakse, in recognition of his contribution during the campaign. He was made the advisor to the President on National security.