Ranil Wickremesinghe (Sri Lanka’s New President) Biography, Wiki, Age, Career, Family, Net Worth | Who is Ranil Wickremesinghe? Bio, Wiki

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Who is Ranil Wickremesinghe?

Ranil Wickremesinghe (born 24 March 1949) is a Sri Lankan politician, who is the current and the 9th president of Sri Lanka since 21 July 2022. He also holds the position of Minister of Finance of Sri Lanka.

He is a member of parliament from the United National Party (UNP). He has been the leader of the UNP since 1994.

He served as Prime Minister of Sri Lanka in five separate stints, leading six governments, from 1993 to 1994, 2001 to 2004, 2015 to 2018, 2018 to 2019, and 2022. He also served as Leader of the Opposition from 1994 to 2001 and from 2004 to 2015.

Sri Lanka’s newly elected President Ranil Wickremesinghe sworn in

Sri Lanka's newly elected President Ranil Wickremesinghe sworn in
Sri Lanka’s newly elected President Ranil Wickremesinghe sworn in

The six-time Prime Minister had never held the top job. But he easily won the secret ballot of lawmakers on July 20 to finish the term of former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

Veteran politician Ranil Wickremesinghe was sworn in as Sri Lanka’s new President on July 21 to take charge of a nation bitterly angry. He will remain in power amid an unprecedented economic crisis.

Sri Lankans have taken to the streets for months to demand their top leaders step down to take responsibility for economic chaos that has left the nation’s 22 million people struggling with shortages of essentials, including medicine, fuel and food. While the protesters have focussed on the Rajapaksa political dynasty, Mr. Wickremesinghe also has drawn their ire as a perceived Rajapaksa surrogate.

The six-time Prime Minister had never held the top job. But he easily won the secret ballot of lawmakers on July 20 to finish the term of former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who fled the country after protesters stormed his residence last week and resigned.

Mr. Wickremesinghe, 73, has wide experience in diplomatic and international affairs and has been overseeing the bailout talks with the International Monetary Fund.

Ranil Wickremesinghe Biography, Wiki

Ranil Wickremesinghe was born on March 24, 1949, in Colombo. His father was a lawyer who became a press baron taking over the Lake House Group of Newspapers.

Ranil Wickremesinghe received his education at the Royal Preparatory School and the Royal College, Colombo. He entered the Faculty of Law of the University of Ceylon at its Colombo Campus which is now the University of Colombo.

After graduation, Wickremesinghe completed the law exams at the Ceylon Law College and took oaths as an advocate in 1972. He became an Attorney of law following the changes to the legal profession in 1973.

Ranil Wickremesinghe married Maithree Wickremesinghe, a Sri Lanka academic and Professor of English in 1994. His wife avoided the political spotlight until Ranil Wickremesinghe’s recent re-elected as Prime Minister in 2015.

A number of Ranil Wickremesinghe’s close relations were active in politics. His cousin Ruwan Wijewardene was the State Minister of Defence, Wasantha Senanayake was the State Minister of Foreign Affairs and his aunt Amari Wijewardene was the Sri Lanka High Commissioner to the United Kingdom.

Ranil Wickremesinghe Biography Wikipedia
Ranil Wickremesinghe
NameRanil Wickremesinghe
BirthMarch 24, 1949
Age73 Years
Political PartyUnited National Party
ParentsEsmond WickremesingheNalini Wickremesinghe
RelativesWijewardene Family
OfficePresident of Sri Lanka 2022
EducationRoyal College, University of Ceylon
WifeMaithree Wickremesinghe
ProfessionAttorney of Law

Ranil Wickremesinghe Career

Ranil Wickremesinghe joined United National Party, considered to be a right wing, pro-capitalist political party. at an early age. He was heavily involved with the youth wing of the UNP while he was still a university student.

After passing out from Law College he began to devote more time to politics and quickly progressed through its ranks. By mid-1970s, Wickremesinghe became chief organizer of the Kelaniya Electorate. Later, he was shifted to Biyagama Electorate and won the 1977 parliamentary elections from there.

When the ministry was formed under the leadership of J. R. Jayewardene, young Wickremesinghe became the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs. At that time, he was only 28 years old. His talent and enthusiasm for work impressed many top leaders.

On October 5, 1977, Wickremesinghe was made a full Cabinet Minister in charge of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Employment. He served in that capacity until the beginning of 1980 and initiated National Youth Services Council (NYSCO), which provides vocational training to school dropouts, during this period.

On February 14, 1980, Wickremesinghe became the Minister of Education and served in that capacity for nine years. During this period, he initiated radical reforms aimed at the qualitative improvement of school education, putting special emphasis on English, technology and computer skills. He also improved the Education Administrative Service.

In 1989, he was appointed as the Minister of Industries, Science and Technology. In the later capacity, he established the Biyagama Special Economic Zone and initiated industrial reforms. This is also the year when he was appointed as the Leader of the House.

In 1993, the then President Ranasinghe Premadasa was assassinated by rebel LTTE suicide bombers while attending the May Day rally. After his death, Prime Minister D. B. Wijetunga became the acting president and on May 7, 1993 Wickremesinghe was appointed as the new Prime Minister.

However, his tenure as Prime Minister of Sri Lanka was short lived. In 1994 general election Wickremesinghe’s United National Party (UNP) lost to People’s Alliance, which formed the new government and UNP’s Gamini Dissanayake was elected as the Leader of the opposition.

Unfortunately, Gamini Dissanayake too was assassinated by LTTE with in very short period and Wickremesinghe was elected as the leader of UNP and also the Leader of the Opposition. During this stint as opposition leader Wickremesinghe played a very positive role, supporting the government in its various agendas.

In 1999, Wickremesinghe was nominated as the party’s presidential candidate, but lost to Chandrika Kumaratunga in a sympathy wave. She had lost an eye in LTTE attack during election campaign and this unfortunate incident turned the wave into her favor.

In 2001, United National Party won the general election under Wickremesinghe’s leadership and formed government. On December 9, Wickremesinghe took oath as Sri Lanka’s 17th Prime Minister. His tenure as Prime Minister was marked by frequent conflict with the President Kumaratunga, who belonged to a different party.

However, Wickremesinghe was able to exercise the actual control over the government.As Prime Minister, Wickremesinghe’s main concern was to rebuild the country’s economy, ravaged by decades of civil war. To achieve this goal, he started galvanizing international goodwill and support, as a result of which Sri Lanka received $4.5 billion as reconstruction and development aid.

At the same time, he tried to break down the ethnic barrier and started a negotiation with LTTE. On February 22, 2002 Wickremesinghe signed a ceasefire agreement with the rebels. Under this agreement, both the parties agreed to end hostility.

As a result of this agreement, development work started once more and inflow of touristS started increasing. In order to find a political solution to the civil war, Wickremesinghe also started holding peace talks with LTTE under the aegis of international community.

However, his initiative in finding peaceful and permanent solution was criticized by many at home. They feared that the peace process with ultimately divide the country and destroy its sovereignty. Finally on February 7, 2004 President Kumartunga dissolved the parliament using her constitutional power.

This effectively ended Wickremesinghe’s regime. Wickremesinghe’s party lost the subsequent elections and remained out of power for more than a decade. Finally, Maithripala Sirisena of Sri Lanka Freedom Party became President of Sri Lanka after winning the presidential election in 2015 and according to MOU signed with UNP, appointed Wickremesinghe as the Prime Minister on January 9, 2015.

On being appointed as the Prime Minister for the third time Wickremesinghe promised to create more jobs and secure the future of the youth. He also visited the war-ravaged parts of the country and inaugurated many development programs in those areas. Revitalizing the economy of the country is his major priority.

Ranil Wickremesinghe Wife

In 1994, Ranil Wickremesinghe married Maithree Wickremesinghe, a Professor of English in the University of Kelaniya. She is also the founder director of Center for Gender Studies in the same university and is an internationally known speaker and writer on women’s studies.

Ranil Wickremesinghe FAQ’s

Who is Ranil Wickremesinghe?

Ranil Wickremesinghe (born 24 March 1949) is a Sri Lankan politician, who is the current and the 9th president of Sri Lanka since 21 July 2022. He also holds the position of Minister of Finance of Sri Lanka.

How old is Ranil Wickremesinghe?

Ranil Wickremesinghe is currently 73 years old.

Who is Ranil Wickremesinghe’s wife?

In 1994, Ranil Wickremesinghe married Maithree Wickremesinghe, a Professor of English in the University of Kelaniya. She is also the founder director of Center for Gender Studies in the same university and is an internationally known speaker and writer on women’s studies.

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