- He made his mark as an excellent business manager in the private sector
- He is an internationally renowned statesman and a prominent Buddhist leader
- He carried sacred relics of the Enlightened One to Vietnam
In recognition of the services rendered by Speaker Karu Jayasuriya to the Buddha Sasana and the society in general, the Most Ven. Maha Nayaka Maha Thera and the Sangha Sabha of the Malwatta Chapter of the Siam Sect have decided to felicitate him by conferring him the Honorary title of “Sasana Keerthi Sri Deshabhimani” at a special ceremony held in Kandy.
Jayasuriya was born in Siyane Korale; the home town of patriotic leaders who led the freedom struggle. He had his primary education at Ananda College, Colombo and gained professional qualifications in the United Kingdom and France. He joined the Sri Lanka Army as a Second Lieutenant and subsequently joined the private sector. He made his mark as an excellent business manager in the private sector. He has held the posts of Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of 52 established companies and served the country with his expertise by holding various other posts including the chairmanship of the Presidential Commission on Privatization.
Jayasuriya, who served as Sri Lanka Ambassador to Germany with accreditation for Switzerland and Austria, later entered politics and held the offices of the Mayor of Colombo and the Leader of the Opposition of the Western Provincial Council. Jayasuriya entered Parliament from Gampaha district and fulfilled the duties of the government admirably holding the portfolios of Power and Energy (2001-2004), Public Adminstration and Home Affairs (2007-2008) and Public Administration, Provincial Councils and Buddha Sasana. He pioneered the presentation of the Right to Information Bill. He has chaired several Cabinet Sub Committees such as Cost of Living, Food Security, Establishments and Procurement. Creating a just society by making democracy meaningful within Parliament as well as outside has been his aspiration. He was committed to introduce the 17th amendment to the Constitution.
Jayasuriya was the force behind the civil society organisations and Ven. Maduluwawe Sobhitha Thera to create a system of Good Governance in Sri Lanka. He joined Parliament again through the national list and was elected Speaker of the Eighth Parliament in 2015. As the ex-officio Chairman of the Constitutional Council, he has been vested with the responsibility of the smooth functioning of nine independent commissions. He also strengthened the Parliamentary committees by introducing new initiatives. Measures were also taken to ensure the welfare of employees.
Stands for democracy
Jayasuriya boldly stood for democracy, safe-guarding and upholding the Parliamentary traditions and its integrity at a very crucial period. The whole world is aware of this courageous endeavour. He also set up a standing committee in Parliament.
He is an internationally renowned statesman and a prominent Buddhist leader. He is a veteran politician. He has the courage of his convictions. He assumed duties as the Sri Lankan Ambassador to Germany on request. When called back he happily returned and contested the Municipal Council elections.
His gentlemanly behaviour is felt and known. He is fearless in action and plans every detail of his life. The things he fears are going against justice, truth and righteousness. His peaceful mindset is unbelievable. He is wise but does not display his wisdom. He is humble but does not yield to any power. We never see him losing his temper. Mrs. Wasantha Jayasuriya is a retired medical officer dedicated to social service.
He established social welfare organizations such as the “Suriya Foundation” to provide technical training to unemployed youth and to provide medical assistance. He created a Trust Fund with the Public Trustee to help children of Parliament employees to pursue higher education. Jayasuriya is not racial minded.
Jayasuriya’s services are not confined to Sri Lanka, but go beyond the seas to rest of the Buddhist countries. He carried sacred relics of the Enlightened One to Vietnam as a gift last year. Furthermore he arranged the donation of a Sapling of sacred Bodhi to newly constructed Tam Chuc Pagoda in Hanoi where the International Wesak Festival is scheduled to be held this year.
He was accorded with the World Peace Award presented by the Siddharth United Social Welfare Mission of Bengal in year 2016 and the Order of the Rising Sun constituted by the State Council of Japan under the order of Emperor Meiji, in recognition of the social work carried out by him. The Abdul Kalam Institute of Technology awarded Jayasiruya the title of “Pride of Asia”. He has also dedicated himself to promote mutual understanding among various ethnicities and in the international. He served as the Chairman of “Nikaya Arakshaka Sabha” of Sri Lanka Ramanna Nikaya.
On the very pleasant occasion of the conferment of the honorary title of “Sasana Keerthi Sri Deshabhimani” by the Most Ven. Maha Nayaka Maha Thera and the Sangha Sabha of Malwatta Chapter, Let us congratulate and wish Jayasuriya good health, happiness and long life with the blessings of the Noble Triple Gem.
The writer is a Former Secretary of the Ministry of Buddha Sasana
And can be reached via email on email@example.com