Dr. Dayan Jayatillake, former Ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva and to France called Karu Jayasuriya, the leader of the Leadership Council of the UNP nothing but a stenographer to Party Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe.
Appearing on Sirasa TV’s nightly news broadcast, widely acknowledged to be spearheading a campaign on behalf of disgruntled UNP MP Sajith Premadasa, the former politically appointed Ambassador said that there is no one within the recently constituted Leadership Council who can appeal to the rural masses. With reference to Karu Jayasuriya he said “when one watches the meetings of the party decision making body these days one can see clearly what is happening. Mr. Wickeremesinghe sits by himself at the head of the table. On his right or left sits Mr. Karu Jayasuriya, the Chairman of the Leadership Council as if he was a private secretary or a stenographer.”
“This is purely decorative body,” Jayatillake said of the Leadership Council.
“The UNP is unelectable so long as it does not change its leadership, honestly and credibly,” he said.
“Mr. Jayasuriya should have either stayed in the Party and fought to create a patriotic, national leadership in the UNP, or if he crossed over as he says to help in the war effot, he should have stayed until the war was won,” the former Ambassador said.
In his nightly news ‘editorial’ he said the UNP’s 20 years in opposition was a record in democracy. “It must realise there is no way in which it can stop the hemorrhaging of votes without a complete change of the Party’s leadership,” Jayatilleke said.
Jayatillake noted that terms such as “media terrorists” and “media terrorism” are terms that government propagandists have been using for years and that it is disturbing that some opposition members have used such phrases against privately owned and therefore independent media.
Referring to UNP MP and former Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera who recently filed legal action against Sirasa Network Chairman R. Rajamahendran (aka Kili Maharaja), Jayatillake said his deployment of people with sticks and stones has done damage to the UNP and has impacted negatively on the party’s ability to run an effective election campaign in the Southern Province.
Jayatillake makes no reference to the wielding of a loaded gun by leading UNP rebel Maithri Guneratne’s father Herman Guneratne which he fired at protestors in full view of television cameras.
Jayatillake, a non career diplomat was appointed by President Mahinda Rajapaksa as Sri Lanka’s ambassador to the UN in Geneva in 2007. He was recalled in 2009 and a year later appointed as Sri Lanka’s ambassador to France. Jayatillake served for two years in the latter posting. He claims he did not request for an extension as customary after two years.