Written by Lahiru Fernando
29 Sep, 2016 | 6:57 pm
A brave officer of the military, a successful businessman, a distinguished diplomat, an influential statesman and current Speaker of Parliament, Karu Jayasuriya celebrated his 76th birthday on Thursday, September 29.
Born on September 29, 1940, Karu Jayasuriya received his primary education from the Kadagamuwa Maha Vidyalaya.
His exceptional skills earned him a place in Ananda College Colombo. After completing his secondary education, he went on to become a fellow of the institute of charted ship brokers in UK and a fellow of the French business school INSEAD.
In 1956 Karu Jayasuriya took a bold decision to enter the Sri Lankan armed forces as a commissioned officer and continued to serve the military till 1972.
Thereafter Jayasuriya launched his successful business career during which he served as the Chairman, CEO and Director of 52 private sector as well as public quoted companies.
December 1994 marked yet another turning point in Karu Jayasuriya’s life. He was invited to join the United National Party and was appointed as the Secretary and Co-Ordinator.
By 1997 Karu Jayasuriya was elected as the Mayor of Colombo and served in this position for a period of two years before contesting the Western Provincial council polls in 1999 as the UNP’s chief ministerial candidate and went on to become the opposition leader of the Council.
In 2001 he took the next step in his political career and was elected to Parliament. He first served as the Minister of Power and Energy from 2001 to 2004 before taking up responsibilities as the Minister of Public Administration and Home Affairs in 2007.
A former Chairman and Deputy Leader of the UNP, he entered parliament this time around through the UNP National list and became the Speaker of the 8th Parliament of Sri Lanka, taking up his most challenging role yet.
Jayasuriya also plays a key role in the constitutional reform process that was initiated following the January 8, revolution.
On numerous occasions we have witnessed the manner in which Speaker Karu Jayasuriya has called upon all his years of experience as a diplomat, military officer and businessman to maintain the sanctity of the Parliament.
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