Karu will steer clear of power struggle | Sunday Observer

Karu will steer clear of power struggle

Speaker of Parliament Karu Jayasuriya told civil society activists last week that he was not inclined to get embroiled in the ongoing power struggle over the presidential candidacy in his party, and would only consider putting himself forward as candidate if all stakeholders reached a collective understanding on the issue.

Forty leading lights in the civil society movements that propelled the common candidacy of President Maithripala Sirisena in 2015, met Speaker Jayasuriya last Friday, urging him to lead a movement that will unite all factions and moderate forces at the forthcoming presidential election.

The civil society leaders are desperately seeking a way to break the deadlock over the UNP candidacy that will determine the fate of the progressive alliance that came together under the leadership of Ven. Maduluwawe Sobitha Thero, with weeks to go before nominations are called for the make or break election. Speaker Jayasuriya should “give guidance to thwart the rising fascist threat” by contesting the presidency, the civil society leaders urged during Friday’s meeting.

The civil society leaders stressed the need for a prudent and moderate leadership sans political extremism to ensure political, economic and social stability in the country, a communique issued by the Office of the Speaker said.

Only the Speaker could win the support of nearly 3 million floating voters who were not aligned to any political party, and the support of the minorities, the civil society leaders noted.

The Activists underscored the fear that the country would be deprived of democracy in an environment where moral degradation, drugs and crime scourge and brain drain is in ascendancy and reiterated their faith in the Speaker who could introduce genuine political reforms.

The activists reiterated that they were committed to the concept of Just Society advanced by the late Ven. Maduluwawe Sobitha Nayaka Thera. They assured that they would extend their full support to Speaker Jayasuriya, if he were to contest the presidency.

Responding to the appeals, Speaker Jayasuriya said various parties including religious leaders have appealed to him in this regard. However he said that he was of the view that whoever was nominated by the United National Front should have the backing of all constituent parties.

“I have nothing to achieve politically,” Speaker Jayasuriya told the activists. “But I will not hesitate to make any sacrifices for the sake of the country and future generations.”