18 May, 2022


Presidential Hopeful Karu Jayasuriya Must Disclose Relationship With News Websites

In the wake of several news websites highly critical of the Government of Sri Lanka giving sudden prominence to UNP Gampaha District Parliamentarian and Chairman of the UNP’s Leadership Council Karu Jayasuriya, Colombo Telegraph is compelled to question him on the nature of his relationship with those who operate these websites.

KaruAccording to media reports this past week Karu Jayasuriya now appears to be the leading contender as the presidential candidate proposed by the opposition parties, other possible choices former President Chandrika Kumaratunga, Leader of the UNP Ranil Wickremesinghe, and Ven Maduluwawe Sobhitha Thera, the convener of the National Movement for Social Justice.

On October 23rd, Karu Jayasuriya telephoned the Colombo Telegraph editor and offered him a monthly payment of Rs 50,000/- ‘in appreciation of the work that Colombo Telegraph does’. Jayasuriya did not state for how long this payment was to be made. The issue did not arise because the editor politely declined the offer.  The editor, furthermore, reminded Jayasuriya that it was he who interviewed him when he first came in to politics in 1995. At that time Jayasuriya had told the journalist that he hoped he would continue work towards the independence of the media. The Colombo Telegraph editor pointed out to Jayasuriya that he functions today as an independent media entity and said he did not need any money.

One week after the aforementioned phone call, Karu Jayasuriya has been given a lot of prominence in several news websites.  Colombo Telegraph is therefore compelled to ask Karu Jayasuriya whether or not he had made a similar offer to those who run these websites ‘in appreciation of the work they do’ or for any other reason.

Colombo Telegraph feels it is Jayasuriya’s duty to disclose the nature of his relationship with the said websites, particularly in view of the fact that Jayasuriya was the very person who campaigned for the Right to Information and transparency.

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Latest comments

  • 7

    this story doesn’t smell right. something very fishy going on here. wonder why the sudden interest to discredit Karu. ? who to my knowledge does not hv a history of corruption. Anyway hopefully CT will put out more details to prove this.

    • 8

      Of course, very very fishy. wonder why the sudden interest to pay money to CT? Hopefully Karu will answer the issue raised by CT.

      • 5

        He joined MaRa’s government in 2007 to save himself from massive corruption for which he was blamed in the COPE report in 2007. Along with PB Jayasundara and Moragoda he was blamed for most corruption.

        Ranil is a far better choice.

        Give Ranil a chance. Third time lucky.

    • 11

      CT shouldn’t have publish this in the first place. I wonder why CT did this as an anti regime media. In fact we all know that Karu is a better and a respectful politician than many others although he had some drawbacks in the past. Although I prefer RW to Karu I must admit that right now the perfect choice is Karu J as a common candidate.

      I don’t think anything wrong with Karu’s offer today. Mara is doing every dirty trick on earth to boost his popularity so why not Karu. After all the state medias are completely biased and prejudiced.

    • 2

      “…..who to my knowledge does not hv a history of corruption…..” Why did he change the party ?? Is that not bribery and corruption?

  • 6


  • 2

    It would have been romantic for Fredrica to work with big time players in the seedy Colombo commercial and media world like Asanga and Lal. But what is the reality of all this ? All personal agendas and unprincipled manuvering for more money and power.There are no rules .

    We never see any good writing from any of these people only washing dirty linen.Even that so called obituary that Sunday Leader claimed was written by lasantha before his death was written by another. what a con job that was ! Lasantha’s actual writing is very basic .That obituary was very well written.

    No wonder that our journalists cannot find work in newspapers in countries with high ethics and language standards. A very simple principle is to have a recording of your interviews .I hope the CT can produce the interview with Karu who is now a presidential candidate.

  • 7

    This article is just a non issue. The term Honest Politician is an oxymoron. If you are hoping to find an uncorrupt politician anywhere in the world good luck! I hope as an experienced journalist( as I may like to think) you are aware of the fact. So what we have to focus on right now, for the good of the country, to get rid of the most corrupt regime(in every possible way) in the history of Sri Lanka. My guess is Karu may have his share of issues but there are no potential charismatic leaders in the opposition who can grab the general average populations attention. Not all of the regular folks in Sri Lanka are educated, reads in world press, and reading CT. So they need someone who can grab attention of the masses. Having all leadership calibre people in the UNP being decimated to thin air, Karu is the one of the best bets that can disgruntled voters can turn to. In that sense, Karu has been popular among the voters. Anura Kumara would have been more popular but, the unpopularity of their party action on middle class people in the past is bringing him down.

    My explanation for him offering money to CT is that, most of these online news web sites/editors who has to go against the current regime, are facing financial problems, their properties have been destroyed, assaulted, broken legs, can’t find other employment in the countries they in exile and asking readership for donations, since most of them can’t even cover their basic costs without donations. They are struggling to get us exposes of bad governance, He may have thought CT is also a struggling website who needed funding and [Edited out] May be out of goodwill, he has offered you guys to keep up the good work. Every one has an agenda so what is yours CT?

  • 5

    This article does not look true and seems has an hidden agenda.
    Karu is a respectable and a decent human being . CT should be cautious when publishing such articles.

    • 1

      ‘Karu is a respectable and a decent human being’

      Are you serious? This is the man who lead the cross-over to the Government, accepted a Minister’s post and then crossed back. And he wants to be leader!

      • 1


        “This is the man who lead the cross-over to the Government, accepted a Minister’s post and then crossed back. And he wants to be leader! “

        What is wrong with it?

        Do you oppose cross over in principle?

        Do you oppose his opportunism?

        Do you resent to the fact that he returned to UNP?

        Are you worried that your war criminal president and his clan lose their power to rule?

        • 1

          Yes he is honest and decent. He joined MR’s government in order to support the war with LTTE and left when the war was ending. He did
          not join for personal benefits. He has certain principles and would be a trustworthy President if nominated and elected who would certainly
          change the constitution to meet the demands of the

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