Written by Staff Writer
17 Sep, 2019 | 9:30 pm
Colombo (News 1st) – Speaker Karu Jayasuriya today (September 17), issued a statement signalling his intention to run for presidency adding that the Maha Sangha and many intellectuals requested him to do so due to several special reasons.
In his statement, Speaker Karu Jayasuriya stated that over the past few weeks, members of the clergy, representatives of civil society, academics, intellectuals, professionals, youth organizations and professional activists reached out to him and requested him to contest as a candidate at the presidential election.
The statement added that common thread raised by all the stakeholders is their belief in the country’s need for new leadership to strengthen democracy and progress towards an era of functional administration.
Karu Jayasuriya noted that any prospect of accepting a nomination to contest as a presidential candidate would be conditioned upon the support of all forces united behind the critical objective of abolishing the executive presidency, which has been the objective since 1995.
Jayasuriya further noted that he would not accept such an offer out of a desire for the powers of the presidency and would only serve in the office for such a limited period as is necessary to complete the constitutional reforms promised in order to lay the foundations for a secure, prosperous and advanced democracy.
The statement added that if he is to come forward as a candidate representing the alliance led by the United National Front, it must be in accordance with the party constitution and not without the blessings of all parties concerned.
Several Ministers expressed their views in this regard whilst the statement on Karu Jayasuriya competing for the presidency was reportedly criticized in parliament today.
Non-Cabinet Minister Dr Harsha de Silva stated that there is no agreement to put forward Karu Jayasuriya as a candidate for the presidential election.
Minister of Economic Reforms and Public Distribution, Dr Harsha de Silva stated that apart from Minister Sajith Premadasa, there is no other person who had directly informed the party in writing on his or her desire to contest the presidential election. He highlighted that a majority of the UNP MPs are with Deputy Leader Sajith Premadasa.
Minister of Tourism Development, Wildlife and Christian Religious Affairs, John Amaratunga reasoned that it was Karu Jayasuriya who defected to the Government of Mahinda Rajapaksa with 16 MPs in 2007 and sat with the government to get the position of Minister of Internal Affairs at the time. He highlighted that he took away 16 MPs and placed the party is a very tough position. “For some reason in 2008, maybe because Mahinda Rajapaksa did not fulfill a promise made to him, Karu Jayasuriya met with the party leader and expressed his desire to return to the United National Party. If he is contesting the polls, I have a right to do so and it is greater than his”, he continued. He added that if a person is stepping up for leadership, he needs to have a clean political record.
MP Ananda Aluthgamage emphasized that the Speaker must be an independent person and now they cannot expect anything of that nature from him. He highlighted that if he wishes to contest the presidential election, he must step down and go work for it. He highlighted that in Parliament they observed on many occasions his actions were biased and that they object to such conduct. He further added that if he wishes to contest, he can do so and the people would decide. “No matter what happens, Ranil Wickremesinghe wants to be the opposition leader and spend the rest of his life in Parliament. It’s the truth and the government is not operating for the needs of the people”, he continued.
The United National Party is a party which played a key role for Sri Lanka to gain independence from colonial rule. SWRD Bandaranaike went on to found the Sri Lanka Freedom Party after serving as a founder member of the United National Party. Therefore, it is clear that the United National Party was instrumental in the birth of the SLFP.
In post-independence Sri Lanka, for decades all those who led the UNP except for one were committed to protecting the fundamentals of democracy within this massive political party whilst being in Government and in Opposition.
Unfortunately, this massive democratic party was brought down to its very knees by one single person.
Karu Jayasuriya is now the latest pawn used by Ranil Wickremesinghe.
He is releasing statements to the media using the official letter-head of the speaker commenting on political matters which are not even relevant to the post of Speaker.
The cat is now out of the bag.
Who is this Karu Jayasuriya?
It was Karu Jayasuriya, who in 2007 broke away from the UNP with 16 others and supported the Mahinda Rajapaksa’s Government for political objectives. Because of his greed for power and positions, he alone defected from the Mahinda Rajapaksa Government and weaselled his way back into the UNP sacrificing the 16 others who left the UNP with him, to the Rajapaksa Regime.
As the leader continued to lead the party on the path towards destruction, defeat after defeat, the party supporters launched an offensive seeking a change in leadership. It was Ranil Wickremesinghe’s pawn, Karu Jayasuriya who misled the Maha Sangha citing it was on behalf of the party supporters.
The party supporters have not forgotten how they were misled by him who held the so-called position of Chairman of the fake Leadership Council. When the Leadership Council failed, it was Ranil Wickremesinghe who appointed Karu Jayasuriya to the post of Assistant Leader. Because of this conspiracy, on two separate occasions, the United National Party failed to put forward a leader for the presidential election. Karu Jayasuriya was taught a lesson by the people in the Gampaha District when he was defeated by actress Upeksha Swarnamali fondly known as Paba.
He talks big of abolishing the Executive Presidency. However, where was he when the Prime Minister attempted to steal away the powers of the President using the 19th Amendment to the Constitution via diplomatic missions in Sri Lanka?
What independence did he protect when he invited foreign forces to the Sri Lankan Parliament?
Will the people accept the promises made by the now 78-year-old Speaker, who is engaged in politics using his official powers?
Ranil Wickremesinghe does not aspire to see a victory for the United National Party. If the party wins, his position is challenged. Therefore Ranil Wickremesinghe who lived on the tax-payers money for almost 40 years in various positions, has now made it his sole objective to live a comfortable life as the Opposition Leader.
If the objective is to be achieved, Karu Jayasuriya fits the profile.
However, party supporters and the people of Sri Lanka now call for a candidate who can secure a win for the UNP and not a traitor.
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