Sri Lanka’s current Prime Minister is Ranil Wickremesinghe. He entered politics while still a university student, having been born into a politically powerful Buddhist Sinhalese family. He is a lawyer by profession, but he has devoted his life to politics since the age of 28, when he was appointed to his first ministerial post. His accomplishments pleased many authorities, and he was promoted to full cabinet minister in a short period of time. He had to deal with insurgency led by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam during his first stints as Prime Minister of Sri Lanka. However, rather than using force to solve the ethnic problem, he tried to find a solution through peace talks. This was not well received by the majority Sinhalese population, and he was forced to spend more than a decade in opposition. When he came back to power in 2015, he embarked on a series of development projects while also attempting to mend the country’s relationship with the international community. In reality, his government has always aimed for the nation’s economic success.
Childhood and Adolescence
Ranil Wickremesinghe was born on March 24, 1949, in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Esmond Wickremasinghe, his father, was a wealthy lawyer, entrepreneur, and press baron, while Nalini Wickremasinghe, his mother, was an art and culture supporter. Shan, Ranil, Niraj, Channa, and Kshanika were the couple’s five children. Among the siblings, Ranil is the second oldest.
Ranil Wickremesinghe attended Royal College Colombo, one of Sri Lanka’s top public institutions, for his basic and secondary schooling. After graduating from high school, he enrolled at the University of Colombo’s Faculty of Law, where he earned a law degree. He went on to Sri Lanka Law College after that. Ranil registered as an advocate at the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka in 1972 after finishing his studies at the Law College.
Career of Ranil Wickremasinghe
Ranil Wickremesinghe became a member of the United National Party, a right-wing, pro-capitalist political party. at a young age While still a university student, he was strongly connected with the UNP’s youth wing. He began to dedicate more effort to politics after graduating from law school and swiftly rose through the ranks. Wickremesinghe became the Kelaniya Electorate’s primary organizer in the mid-1970s. Later, he was transferred to the Biyagama Electorate, where he won the 1977 parliamentary elections.
Young Wickremesinghe was appointed Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs when the ministry was formed under the leadership of J. R. Jayewardene. He was only 28 years old at the time. Many senior executives were amazed by his talent and work ethic.
Wickremesinghe was appointed as a full Cabinet Minister in charge of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Employment on October 5, 1977. He held that position until the beginning of 1980, during which time he founded the National Youth Services Council (NYSCO), which provides vocational training to school dropouts.
Wickremesinghe was appointed Minister of Education on February 14, 1980, and remained in that position for nine years. During this time, he implemented dramatic changes aimed at improving the quality of school instruction, with a focus on English, technology, and computer skills. He also made enhancements to the Educational Administrative Service.
He was named Minister of Industries, Science, and Technology in 1989. He developed the Biyagama Special Economic Zone and started industry reforms in his latter role. This is also the year he was named Leader of the House of Commons.
In 1993, while attending a May Day celebration, then-President Ranasinghe Premadasa was slain by LTTE rebel suicide bombers. Following his death, Prime Minister D. B. Wijetunga was named interim president, and Wickremesinghe was named Prime Minister on May 7, 1993.
His time as Prime Minister of Sri Lanka, however, was brief. Wickremesinghe’s United National Party (UNP) lost the 1994 general election to the People’s Alliance, which became the new government, and UNP leader Gamini Dissanayake was chosen as the opposition leader.
Unfortunately, Gamini Dissanayake was slain by the LTTE within a short amount of time, and Wickremesinghe was chosen as the UNP’s leader and the Opposition Leader. Wickremesinghe was a highly positive figure throughout his time as the opposition leader, supporting the government’s numerous initiatives.
Wickremesinghe was nominated as the party’s presidential candidate in 1999, but lost in a sympathy wave to Chandrika Kumaratunga. During the election campaign, she had lost an eye to an LTTE attack, and this terrible tragedy helped her win the election.
Under Wickremesinghe’s leadership, the United National Party won the general election in 2001 and established the government. Wickremesinghe was sworn in as Sri Lanka’s 17th Prime Minister on December 9. During his time as Prime Minister, he was frequently at odds with President Kumaratunga, who belonged to a different political party. Wickremesinghe, on the other hand, was able to exert genuine influence over the administration.
Wickremesinghe’s major focus as Prime Minister was to reconstruct the country’s economy, which had been destroyed by decades of civil conflict. He began rallying worldwide goodwill and assistance to achieve this aim, and as a consequence, Sri Lanka received $4.5 billion in rebuilding and development funding.
At the same time, he attempted to bridge the ethnic divide by initiating talks with the LTTE. Wickremesinghe signed a ceasefire deal with the insurgents on February 22, 2002. Both parties agreed to put a stop to the antagonism under this agreement.
As a result of this agreement, development activity resumed and tourist inflows began to increase. Wickremesinghe also began holding peace talks with the LTTE under the auspices of the international community in effort to find a political settlement to the civil war.
Many in his native country, however, condemned his initiative in seeking a peaceful and permanent settlement. They believed that the peace process would end up dividing the country and robbing it of its sovereignty. Finally, on February 7, 2004, President Kumartunga used her constitutional authority to dissolve parliament. Wickremesinghe’s reign was basically over.
Wickremesinghe’s party lost the next elections and was out of power for almost a decade. Finally, after winning the presidential election in 2015, Maithripala Sirisena of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party was elected President of Sri Lanka, and pursuant to a memorandum of understanding negotiated with the UNP, Wickremesinghe was named Prime Minister on January 9, 2015.
Wickremesinghe vowed to generate more employment and ensure the future of the young when he was re-elected Prime Minister for the third time. He also paid visits to war-torn areas of the nation, where he launched a number of development initiatives. His top aim is to revitalize the country’s economy. He also emphasized the significance of repairing the relationship with India, which had deteriorated under the previous administration.
Major Projects of Ranil Wickremasinghe
During his time as Education Minister, he implemented dramatic educational changes, emphasizing English, technology, and computer skills in particular. His key focus as Prime Minister is the country’s economic growth, and he has suggested massive economic changes.
Personal History and Legacy
Ranil Wickremesinghe married Maithree Wickremesinghe, an English professor at the University of Kelaniya, in 1994. She is also the founder and head of the same university’s Center for Gender Studies, as well as an internationally recognized lecturer and writer on women’s studies.
Estimated Net Worth
Ranil is one of the wealthiest politicians and one of the most well-known. Ranil Wickremesinghe’s net worth is estimated to be $1.5 million, according to Wikipedia, Forbes, and Business Insider.
Ranil Wickremesinghe became Sri Lanka’s youngest Cabinet Minister at the age of 28. He is widely regarded as the country’s best Education Minister. Ranil Wickremesinghe is a member of the Mont Pelerin Society, an internal organization comprised of notable academics and business executives. Personal and political liberty are important to the society.