Ranil has been president for about four to five months. As is customary, India greets the Sri Lankan head of state before any other country. Not only that, but Sri Lanka’s president is making his first foreign visit to India. This connection has existed for a very long time. However, President Ranil has yet to visit India. What happened was that he was not invited. Even though President Ranil attempted to plan a trip to India through the Sri Lankan Embassy in India, it was unsuccessful, and attempts to do so through the Indian Embassy in Sri Lanka were also unsuccessful.
In terms of geopolitical theories, Sri Lanka and India is not without a strained relationship. But there is a relationship between these two countries that is not second to the inseparable relationship between the lame and the blind. India cannot lose Sri Lanka, just as Sri Lanka cannot lose India. India knows very well that making Sri Lanka angry is like renting a room in a house to an angry person.
But in relation to Ranil’s government, many people say that Modi’s government in India is demonstrating ‘ serve gravy to the unwanted theory’. When Ranil’s uncle was president of Sri Lanka, India’s Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi dropped lentils to Sri Lanka and Sri Lanka did not care much. So is Rajiv. Rajiv, who came to Sri Lanka to sign the peace accord, was attacked by a naval soldier with a rifle. Rajeev didn’t care too much.
Retired JR was invited as the chief guest at the Indian Independence Day. It is really surprising to note now that a country with such good relations did not invite President Ranil for ‘just a visit’. But this writer thinks that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is not inviting Ranil to visit to India because he is afraid of him.
You may wonder why a leader like Modi of India, on the verge of becoming a world power, is afraid of the head of state of a country like Sri Lanka, which does not go out into the open and hides because it cannot escape creditors. But the reasons for that can be understood by taking a closer look at the international and domestic political arena.
Ranil was like the Bherunda bird in Parliament when the struggle began. There was not a single UNP member in parliament who could speak for an emergency. Ranil was the only member of the UNP present. Gotabaya arranged for Ranil, who was the only member of Parliament, to be appointed Prime Minister. Gota was unable to hold the position for more than two months after doing so. Gotabaya fled to the Maldives in the face of public opposition.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was one of the first people Ranil spoke with after becoming Prime Minister. Ranil Wickremesinghe, who spoke with the British Prime Minister on May 30, also tweeted about it. He was said to have spoken with the British Prime Minister, who agreed to assist Sri Lanka. But he was unable to save his prime minister ship, let alone assist Sri Lanka. Johnson was required to hand over the Prime Minister’s official residence in Downing Street to Lees Trust and return home by July 7th.
Last October, representatives from the Central Bank of Sri Lanka met in the United States with creditors who had invested in bonds worth more than $13 billion. Meanwhile, Sri Lanka’s largest creditor, China’s Finance Minister Liu Kun, and the President of Sri Lanka spoke on the phone. He also allegedly offered to assist in the restructuring of Sri Lanka’s debt. Despite his assistance to Sri Lanka, he lost his finance ministry within a fortnight. The reason for this is that Xi Jinping, who was re-elected to the presidency, removed Liu Kun.
President Ranil Wickremesinghe travelled to Egypt in November to attend the COP27 conference. He met British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak there. Ranil and Sunak first met on November 7th of last year. Sunak was getting lost in a political maze about a month before the meeting. Sunak’s Conservative Party was defeated by the Labor Party in the special election for the North West England seat in the British Parliament held in the first week of December. Following that incident, the political crisis confronting British Prime Minister Sunak has worsened, and it is expected that he will meet the same fate as Liz Truss sooner or later. The senior conservatives have already informed Sunak that they will not run in the upcoming election.
In addition, when the President attended the Queen’s funeral, Niranjan Devaditya, a former British MP, organised a dinner. Ranil Jayawardene, a Sri Lankan-born member of the British Parliament, was also present. There was also a cordial exchange between President Ranil Wickremesinghe and MP Ranil Jayawardena. However, a few days after this discussion, Ranil Jayawardhana also experienced political turmoil.
The most recent incident in this series of events was reported last week. South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, who was returning from a foreign conference, stayed in Sri Lanka for a few hours. He was at the Katunayake Air Force Base during that short time. The birthday of the South African President was also on that day. Knowing this, President Ranil Wickremesinghe went to meet the South African President with a cake and gave him a surprise party. But before the happiness of the birthday party got faded, Cyril Ramaphosa had to face a problem. He was found guilty in an investigation of illegal earnings by the country’s money laundering committee. Now the opposition is preparing to impeach him. If he loses, he has to go home.
Although some claim that almost all of the leaders who met President Ranil are in some sort of crisis as a result of his bad luck, this writer disagrees. Because an unlucky individual does not receive the honour of being president with only one seat in parliament. But seeing what happened to these leaders, after talking to Ranil , Prime minister Narendra Modi decided to postpone the meeting with Ranil, is not surprising.