Retired Admiral of the Fleet Wasantha Karannagoda has, in a letter to US Ambassador Julie Chung, challenged the legality of the US decision to blacklist him in violation of the principle of natural justice.

Referring to media disclosure that Foreign Affairs Minister Ali Sabry, PC, had been informed of the blacklisting ahead of the US State Department announcement, the former Navy Commander said that the purported designation has been given a veneer of “legality” by reference to section 7031(c) of the Department of State Foreign operations and related programmes Act 2023, conveying the impression that it has been lawfully made following the “Due Process of The Law” which forms the bedrock of the Constitution of the United States of America.

Whereas, you are aware that:

4.1 The Secretary of State never notified me of any allegations made against me of which he is taking cognisance; he has not sought my observations on any of these imputed allegations: the purpored designation has not been notified to me, being the person affected, although you hastened to inform the Minister “in advance” and followed up by releasing it to the media.

“In the circumstances, the purported designation has been made in total violation of the Principles of Natural Justice, recognized and respected by all civilised Nations, and in total violation of the “Due Process of the Law”, being the Constitutional safeguard which carries with it as the “central promise as assurance that all levels of American government must operate within the law (“legality”) and provide fair procedures”.

“As you are well aware, I have not applied for Visa to enter United States of America, for the past 14 years, and I have not submitted myself for any review by you, or any authority in the United States of America, as to my eligibility to enter that country. Therefore purported review of my eligibility has been carried out in contravention of the “Due Process of the Law” without any cause or reason and your hasty communication to the Minister made “in advance” and the subsequent media release has been done for a collateral purpose, of giving publicity, in this country, of a wrongfully imputed “significant corruption and/or gross violation of human rights” on my part.

“Aforesaid imputation constitute serious attack on my “honour and reputation” in violation of article 17 of the ‘INTERNATIONAL COVENANT ON CIVIL AND POLITICAL RIGHTS’, acceded to by the United States of America, being foremost instrumental in International Law Protecting Human Rights (referred to in the purported designation made by the Secretary of State).

Article 17 cited below;

“1. No one can be subjected arbitrary or unlawful interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to unlawful attacks on his honour and reputation.”

“2. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks”.

The unwarranted publication made by you “in advance” to the Minister imputing that I have been involved in gross corruption and gross violation of human rights followed up by further publication of the same tenor by your media spokesperson acting as aforesaid, is subject to the Common Law of Sri Lanka in terms of which ‘any outrage upon a man’s honour and good name’ is action able as defamation being species of injuria’. Thus the Law of Sri Lanka is in accords with Article 17 cited above and I have a right safeguarded by Article 17 (2) to seek redress in a Court of appropriate jurisdiction in Sri Lanka.

The imputation of gross violation of human rights on my part as the Commander of the Navy is totally untenable and the Ambassador of USA in Colombo Robert O Blake at the relevant time was constantly in touch with me and in fact assisted in the operations of the Sri Lanka Navy in the war against terrorism by providing strategic information and equipment which referred to in my book “Adhishtanaya”

Wrongful imputations made by you has seriously affected my “honour and reputation” earned over a period of over 45 years of unblemished Government service. Your action is directly violating of my rights under Article 17 of the ICCPR cited above and intend to seek redress through the legal process for gross violation of my human rights in terms of applicable Law in Sri Lanka.


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