(Full Text of Press Release Issued by the US State Department on 26 April 2023 Under the Heading “Designation of Sri Lankan Governor Due to Involvement in a 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.
As a result of today’s action, Karannagoda and his wife, Srimathi Ashoka Karannagoda, are ineligible for entry into the United States.
The allegation that Wasantha Karannagoda committed a gross human rights violation, documented by NGOs and independent investigations, is serious and credible.
By designating Wasantha Karannagoda, the United States reaffirms its commitment to upholding human rights, ending impunity for human rights violators, acknowledging the suffering of victims and survivors, and promoting accountability for perpetrators in Sri Lanka.
The bilateral relationship between the United States and the Government of Sri Lanka is based on 75 years of shared history, values, and a commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific. As we continue to build our bilateral relationship, we are committed to working with the Sri Lankan government on advancing justice, accountability, and reconciliation, including promoting security reform that maintains human rights at the forefront while ensuring Sri Lanka has the resources and training to properly address emerging security
ANTONY J. BLINKEN, SECRETARY OF STATE
APRIL 26, 2023