Japan confers prestigious decoration on Speaker Karu Jayasuriya

On 3rd November 2016, the Government of Japan announced the conferment of “The Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun” upon Hon. Karu Jayasuriya, Speaker of the Parliament of Sri Lanka, as recognition for his significant contribution in promoting bilateral relations between Japan and Sri Lanka.

A congratulatory message was sent by Mr. Fumio Kishida, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, on 3rd November upon the announcement stating “Please accept my sincerest congratulations on the conferment of ‘The Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun”, in recognition of your outstanding contribution, and my best wishes for your continued good health and happiness”.

Before Hon. Jayasuriya went into politics in 1996 he served in private sector for 32 years. While visiting Japan and doing business with Japanese companies as a leading businessman from Sri Lanka, he conceived an idea that Sri Lanka could develop by taking Japan as an example, and he wished for stronger ties between the two countries.

Since then, he has worked continuously for the promotion of bilateral relations, and when the Sri Lanka-Japan Parliamentary Friendship Association was established in 2001, he joined it as a Member of Parliament and later served as the President of Association from 2002 to 2004. During his tenure, he received Japanese parliamentary delegations many times.

Hon. Jayasuriya also held various ministerial posts successively before being elected Speaker of Parliament, and facilitated many Japanese development assistance projects coming under his scopes of work.

Hon. Jayasuriya, as the Speaker of Parliament and a patron of the Sri Lanka-Japan Parliamentary Friendship Association, is keen to further promote exchanges between the Parliaments as well as Members of Parliaments of the two countries. Since assuming office as Speaker he initiated Parliament to Parliament Diplomacy.

This is the first time that this highest decoration is being given to a Sri Lankan. The other dignitaries who will receive the same decoration together with Hon. Jayasuriya this time are as follows:

– Mr. Cesar Enrique Aguinaldo Virata (Philippines)
Former Prime Minister
Former Minister of Finance

– Mr. Franklin M. Drilon (Philippines)
Former Senate President
Senate President Pro-Tempore
President of the Philippines-Japan Parliamentarians Association

– Mr. John J. Hamre (U.S.A.)
Former Deputy Secretary of Defense
President and CEO of the Center for Strategic & International Studies

– Mr. John Andrew Boehner (U.S.A.)
Former Speaker of the House of Representatives
Former Member of the House of Representatives

– Dr. HAN Sung Joo (Republic of Korea)
Former Minister of Foreign Affairs
Professor Emeritus at Korea University
Honorary President, The Seoul Forum for International Affairs