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US blacklists Karannagoda for human rights violations; Sri Lanka regrets decision

The United States on Thursday banned former Sri Lankan Navy Commander and Governor of North Western Province Admiral of the Fleet Wasantha Karannagoda and his family from entering the country over gross violation of human rights.

“The United States is designating Wasantha Karannagoda, Governor of North Western Province in Sri Lanka, pursuant to Section 7031(c) of the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2023, due to his involvement in a gross violation of human rights during his tenure as a Naval Commander,” the Department of State said in a release.

However, releasing a statement, Sri Lanka's Foreign Ministry rejected the decision saying it was a unilateral action by the US without following due process and counter-productive to the holistic approach that Sri Lanka has taken on addressing national unity and reconciliation.

"Foreign Minister Ali Sabry expressed Sri Lanka’s grave concerns associated with this decision to the US Ambassador Julie Chung on 27 April 2023," the statement said.

"It is also unfortunate that the announcement emanates against the backdrop of the tangible progress made by the Government in strengthening the country’s democratic governance and reconciliation structures.


Despite these challenges, the ministry added it will continue in its ongoing efforts to achieve reconciliation, economic recovery and socio-economic development.

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