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Ranil Wickremesinghe has become the 9th President of Sri Lanka and before that, he served as the Prime Minister of the country for six different terms. Read on to know his political career, wife, education, family, early life, and other details.

Ranil Wickremesinghe Biography: President of Sri Lanka, Political Career, Family, Wife, Education, and Other Details

President of Sri Lanka Ranil Wickremesinghe: Ranil Wickremesinghe is a Sri Lankan politician who is currently the 9th President of Sri Lanka since July 21, 2022. Wickremesinghe also holds the post of Finance Minister of the country and is a Member of Parliament from the United National Party. Ranil Wickremesinghe has served as the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka for six different terms and also as the Leader of the Opposition from 1994 to 2001 and 2004 to 2015. On July 20, 2022, Ranil Wickremesinghe was elected as the 9th President of Sri Lanka through elections by the Parliament.

Know more about Ranil Wickremesinghe’s political career, family, wife, education, and other important details.

Biography of Ranil Wickremesinghe

Name                    Ranil Wickremesinghe

Born                     24 March 1949

Age                      73 years

Political party      United National Party

Parents                 Esmond Wickremesinghe
                             Nalini Wickremesinghe

Relatives              Vijewardene family

Sri Lankan Office President       2022

Education             Royal College , University of Ceylon

Wife                     Maitri Wickremesinghe

Profession            Attorney of Law

Ranil Wickremesinghe Early Life, Family, Wife, Education

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

Ranil Wickremesinghe received her education at the Royal Preparatory School and the Royal College, Colombo. He joined the Faculty of Law at the Colombo campus of the University of Ceylon which is now the University of Colombo. After graduation, Wickremesinghe completed his law studies at Ceylon Law College and started working as a lawyer in 1972. After a change of legal profession in 1973, he became an attorney of law.

Ranil Wickremesinghe married Maitri Wickremesinghe, a Sri Lankan academic and English professor, in 1994. His wife Ranil Wickremesinghe has stayed away from the political limelight until his re-election as Prime Minister in 2015.

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

The political career of Ranil Wickremesinghe

Ranil Wickremesinghe joined the United National Party and moved up through its ranks. Take a look at his political career and tenure as the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka on various occasions.

Prime Minister of Sri Lanka for the first time (1993–1994)

Ranil Wickremesinghe was sworn in as the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka on May 7, 1993, after President Ranasinghe Premadasa was assassinated by the Tamil Tigers and Prime Minister D.B. Wijetunga was appointed the President of the country. During his first term, Wickremesinghe is credited with leading the country through an impressive economic transformation and was supported by the business community.

In the 1994 parliamentary elections, the United National Party (UNP) lost to the People’s Alliance (PA) of Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga and Kumaratunga was appointed Prime Minister of Sri Lanka. Ranil Wickremesinghe was defeated by UNP partner Gamini Dissanayake by two votes in the race for Leader of the Opposition.

Prime Minister of Sri Lanka for the second time (2001–2004)

In the 2001 parliamentary general election, Ranil Wickremesinghe led the UNF (United National Front) to win 109 seats and the People’s Alliance could only get 77 seats. As a result, Wickremesinghe succeeded in forming a new UNF government and was sworn in as the 17th Prime Minister of Sri Lanka on 9 December 2001.

In the 2004 parliamentary elections, Ranil Wickremesinghe’s UNF lost government office, despite hopes of a full six-year term, and planned projects were cut short by defeat. Within 14 months of the UPFA victory, the radical JVP wing split from the government, leaving the parliamentary structure of the UPFA far behind the required majority.

Ranil Wickremesinghe remained in the position of Leader of the Opposition until 2015, when Maithripala Sirisena, who was sworn in as President, appointed him Prime Minister.

Prime Minister of Sri Lanka for the third, fourth, and fifth terms (2015-2019)

Following the 2015 presidential elections in Sri Lanka, UNP-led general candidate Maithripala Sirisena won 51.28% of the vote and according to the agreement, Ranil Wickremesinghe was appointed as Prime Minister for the 100-day program plan. This was his third term as the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka.

UNP/UNFGG, led by Ranil Wickremesinghe, won the general parliamentary elections held on August 17, 2015, making him Prime Minister for his fourth term, forming a government with 106 seats out of 225 members of the Sri Lankan parliament.

In 2018, President Maithripala Sirisena appointed Mahinda Rajapaksa as prime minister after the United People’s Freedom Alliance withdrew from the unity government. He also pointed out that Ranil Wickremesinghe was removed from office, however, Wickremesinghe refused to accept the dismissal claiming that it was unconstitutional which led to a constitutional crisis. Following the decisions of the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal, Mahinda Rajapaksa stepped down and Ranil Wickremesinghe was reinstated as the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka on 16 December 2018.

Prime Minister of Sri Lanka for the sixth time (2022)

As of May 2022, Sri Lanka was in sovereign default and was experiencing hyperinflation that led to political and social unrest. With events leading to the resignation of Mahinda Rajapaksa on May 9, 2022, due to widespread protests, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa appointed Ranil Wickremesinghe as the country’s Prime Minister on May 12, 2022.

President of Sri Lanka (2022–present)

On July 13, 2022, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa left the country and moved to the Maldives, Ranil Wickremesinghe claimed the presidency in an acting capacity due to his premiership and imposed a state of emergency in Sri Lanka.

Ranil Wickremesinghe was sworn in as the acting President of Sri Lanka on July 15, 2022, following the official resignation of Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

Awards and Honors of Ranil Wickremesinghe

Year                        Honor
2014                      Robert E. Wilhelm Fellow – Massachusetts 

                              Institute of Technology

2017                      Doctor of Laws (Honorary)

                              Deakin University 



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