Former Commander of Sri Lanka Navy Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda and former Commander of Sri Lanka Air Force Air Chief Marshal Roshan Gunathileke have been conferred the highest honorary military ranks by President Maithripala Sirisena at an investiture ceremony held today (19).
Accordingly, Karannagoda was promoted as the Admiral of the Fleet while Gunathileke was promoted as Marshal of Sri Lanka Air Force. The President had earlier awarded the honorary military ranks in an extraordinary gazette notification and the formal presentation took place today at the Colombo Harbour premises.
Admiral of the Fleet Karannagoda served as the Commander of the Navy from 2005 to 2009.
The first Naval Officer to obtain two Masters Degrees, Karannagoda was a member of Royal Institute of Navigation and the Nautical Institute of United Kingdom.
Before serving as the Commander of the Navy he commanded four Operational Naval Commands on seven occasions and rendered an outstanding service to the progress of Sri Lanka Navy.
Admiral Karannagoda who 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 is the recipient of many gallantry awards such as “Ranashoora”, “VishishtaSevaVibhooshana”, “UththamaSeva” and “PoornaBhoomi”.
Mr. Roshan Gunathilake who was appointed as the 12th Commander of Sri Lanka Air Force on June 12, 2006 retired from his post on February 27, 2011.
Air Chief Marshal WDRMJ Goonetileke joined the Air Force in 1978 as an officer cadet and in a career spanning over thirty three years, accumulated more than 4200 flying hours on both fixed wing and rotor wing aircraft.
Under his leadership, the Air Force was able to make a significant difference in the final stages of the humanitarian operation that brought to an end the conflict that had already taken a significant toll from the nation.
Rana Wickrama, Vishishta Seva Vibushana and Uththama Seva medals are several medals that were presented in recognition of his service to the country.
Secretary to the President Udaya R. Seneviratne, Defence Secretary General Shantha Kottegoda, Chief of the Defence Staff, tri-forces commanders, Inspector General of Police and others participated on this occasion.