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Karu Jayasuriya

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Karu Jayasuriya

Karu Jayasuriya
කරු ජයසූරිය
கரு ஜயசூரிய
20th Speaker of the Parliament
Assumed office
1 September 2015
President Maithripala Sirisena
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe
Deputy Thilanga Sumathipala
Preceded by Chamal Rajapaksa
Minister of Buddha Sasana
In office
12 January 2015 – 01 September 2015
President Maithripala Sirisena
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe
Preceded by D. M. Jayaratne
Minister of Public Administration, Democratic Rule
In office
12 January 2015 – 17 August 2015
President Maithripala Sirisena
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe
Preceded by D. M. Jayaratne
Minister of Public Administration and Home Affairs
In office
Minister of Power and Energy
In office
12 December 2001 – 6 April 2004
President Chandrika Kumaratunga
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe
Sri Lankan Ambassador to Germany
Member of Parliament
for Gampaha District
In office
10 October 2000 – 17 August 2015
Mayor of Colombo
In office
Personal details
Born (1940-09-29) 29 September 1940
Nationality Sri Lankan
Political party United National Party
Alma mater Ananda College, Colombo
Occupation Politics, Diplomat
Profession Businessman
Religion Theravada Buddhism
Website Official website

Deshabandu Karu Jayasuriya (Sinhala:කරු ජයසුරිය) (born 29 September 1940) is a Sri Lankan politician who has been Speaker of the Parliament of Sri Lanka since 2015.[1] Previously he was Mayor of Colombo from 1997 to 1999, Minister of Power and Energy from 2001 to 2004, Minister of Public Administration and Home Affairs from 2007 to 2008, and Minister of Buddha Sasana, Public Administration, and Democratic Governance in 2015. He served as Chairman of the Leadership Council[2] of the United National Party (UNP), as well as Deputy Leader of the UNP.[3] He is a Member of Parliament representing the Gampaha District. He received his early education at Ananda College, Colombo. Under President Ranasinghe Premadasa's government, Karu Jayasuriya was appointed as Sri Lanka's Ambassador to Germany. He is also act as the chairman of the Constitutional Council of Sri Lanka


  • Life and career 1
    • Speaker 1.1
  • See also 2
  • References 3
  • External links 4

Life and career

Jayasuriya served as a commissioned officer of the Sri Lanka Army from 1965 to 1972. A businessman by profession, he was thrust into active politics in 1996 when he became party chairman at the request of UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe. In 1997, he was elected Mayor of Colombo by a large majority. Following his efficient administration of the country's most populous city, the party nominated him to be Chief Ministerial candidate of the Western Province, which he lost narrowly. He became the opposition leader of that province. At that election he created a new precedent by refusing to publish posters, saying it promoted violence and polluted the city he worked hard to keep clean. At the General Elections of 2000, he was elected to Parliament from the Gampaha District with a large number of preferential votes even though his party was defeated. After his remarkable showing, he was elected Deputy Leader of the UNP.

Following the victory of the UNP at the General Elections in 2001, Karu Jayasuriya was appointed Minister of Power and Energy. Having inherited a challenging ministry he ensured a continued power supply and commenced reforms of the heavily indebted Electricity Board. With President Chandrika Kumaratunga's abrupt dissolution of parliament in April 2004, and the UNP's defeat at the ensuing election, he once again returned to the front benches of the Opposition. At the Presidential Elections of 2005, in which Wickremesinghe was the party's candidate, Jayasuriya was named as the nominee for the premiership in the event of the party's success. As an unofficial running mate he traveled widely, actively campaigning for his leader.

Wickremesinghe narrowly lost the election and following his defeat there were requests by a section of the party for the leadership to be handed over to Jayasuriya. In the meanwhile Wickremesinghe and Rajapakse signed a Memorandum of Understanding pledging to co-operate on the peace process. Jayasuriya and his supporters insisted on taking a step further and joining the government formally by accepting ministerial office, which was strongly opposed by Wickremesinghe. The ensuing power struggle, resulted in a bitter and acrimonious war of attrition between the two.

After several abortive attempts to oust Wickremesinghe from the party leadership, Jayasuriya led a group of 18 parliamentarians, including several party front-liners, in crossing over to the government side. In the 2007 cabinet reshuffle after the crossover, he was appointed as Minister of Public Administration and Home Affairs. He resigned from his Public Administration and Home Affairs portfolio on 9 December 2008 and rejoined the UNP as its deputy leader.[3]

In January 2015 President Maithripala Sirisena appointed Jayasuriya as Minister of Public Administration, Democratic Rule and Buddha Sasana after his victory in the presidential election.


On the first session of the 8th Parliament he was elected Speaker. His name was proposed by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe and seconded Nimal Siripala De Silva, Thilanga Sumathipala was elected as his deputy.

See also


  1. ^ "Karu elected as new Speaker". Adaderana. 3 September 2015. Retrieved 3 September 2015. 
  2. ^ I did not betray the party members: Karu, Daily Mirror, Retrieved on 6th November 2013.
  3. ^ a b Karu UNP deputy leader BBC News, Retrieved on 8 December 2008.

External links

  • Sri Lanka Parliament profile
  • Bio - Hon. Karu Jayasuriya
  • The man with a Plan
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