Sir failed and passed Ranil
Exactly on June 07, 2022, then Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe addressed the Parliament and said that it would be difficult to import oil and gas for the next three weeks, and to be patient for those three weeks. Even then, President Gotabhaya had found money for an oil ship, but the ship’s arrival was delayed. Oil Minister Kanchana Wijesekara dealt with those oil ships. He said the oil tanker would come today or tomorrow, but it didn’t come.
‘If that oil ship arrived on time, is Gota now the president of the country?’
That is the bitter truth. Gota had to go home because of the delay of the oil tanker. When the oil tanker arrived, Ranil had become president. The queues disappeared and the people who were in the oil queues without food or drink for days went home with oil. Even at that time, Oil Minister Kanchana Wijesekera had prepared the QR code. First, former oil minister Udaya Gammanpilaya had suggested that oil should be given through coupon system. Even earlier, former minister Vasudeva Nanayakkara proposed a coupon system for oil.
‘Today, oil import has become a big problem. I suggest a coupon system to sell essential commodities like oil…’
The then Oil Minister Udaya Gammanpila expressed this kind of opinion about the oil issue.
I said on June 21 that there is a problem of foreign reserves in Sri Lanka. I said that the import of essential materials including oil will lose dollars. When I said that, people from our party said not to scare people…’
Uday told this story on January 20, 2022. Then the oil queues have not started. The struggle has not even begun. He said that he presented 5 solutions to this problem in 2021 as oil minister. One of those 5 solutions was to introduce a coupon system to distribute oil. Another solution was to restrict oil to vehicles with high engine capacity. He proposed this in 2021 when he was the oil minister. He also suggested raising oil prices to control oil reserves.
‘So if Gotabhaya had done these things, he would still be President today…?’
The story is true. Not only that, Gotabaya also approved the US$ 600 million that the World Bank gave to Sri Lanka as an emergency aid when the gas queues emerged. That was before Ranil became the Prime Minister. This is how the Lankadeepa newspaper published the announcement issued by the President’s Secretariat that on April 26, 2022, the President’s Secretariat were promised 600 million US dollars due to the talks Gota had with the World Bank representative Chio Kunda.
A financial aid of 600 million dollars from the World Bank
The World Bank has agreed to provide a financial aid of 600 million dollars as a remedy for the economic difficulties. Ms. Chio Kunda, Sri Lanka permanent representative of the World Bank, says that 400 million dollars will be provided immediately under the first phase. Mrs. Chio Kunda stated this in the meeting held between the representatives of the World Bank and President Gotabaya Rajapaksa this afternoon (26) at the Presidential Palace, Colombo Fort….’
Presidential Secretariat Announcement
After Gotabhaya made Ranil the Prime Minister, on May 18, Ranil addressed the Parliament and said:
“From the money received from the World Bank, 160 million dollars will be used for importing gas…”
Now then Gotabaya’s government has paid for the oil and gas that came after Ranil became president and imported that oil and gas.
‘So when you look at it like that, how can Ranil say he eliminated the queues…?’
Ranil did not eliminate queues. Oil Minister Kanchana Wijesekera digitized the oil coupon system proposed by Vasudeva Nanayakkara and Udaya Gammanpila. The oil and gas ships paid for by Gota arrived in Sri Lanka when Ranil became president. The only thing Ranil did as Prime Minister was skyrocketing oil and gas prices. Consumer survey reports say that with this increase in oil and gas, people have greatly reduced the use of oil and gas. For example, they say that by increasing the price of gas, people reduced gas consumption by 40%. Former oil minister Udaya Gammanpilaya brought the proposal that the price of oil and gas should be increased. Basil objected. If that proposal had been implemented, President Gotabaya would still be there today. Today there is a Podujana Peramuna government.
‘Then Ranil was fortunate because the oil tanker and gas tanker ordered by Gota were late…?’
That’s the real story. Gota’s problem was how to find dollars after paying for those ships. Ranil promised that if he is made the prime minister, he can get 6 or 7 billion dollars from Japan to solve that problem as soon as he becomes the prime minister. Gota made Ranil the Prime Minister on Ranil’s word. Gota learned from Japan that the $6 billion story was a lie after Ranil became Prime Minister. Ranil, who was the Prime Minister, said that the amount that Gota had discussed with the World Bank could be paid to the oil and gas ships in installments. Gota’s government paid money to Chinese oil tankers. Kanchana had already drawn plans to give QR code on Gota’s advice.
It took time for the Oil Ships Gas Ships to arrive, with this Kanchana’s Q.R. code too took time to implement . Gota had to go home at that time. Ranil was the president. Gota was declared bankrupt on April 22, 2022. Since then, Sri Lanka had stopped paying its foreign debt. Because of this, Sri Lanka was receiving dollars from tourists and foreign workers from April 2022 until Ranil became president. The world lifted the Covid restrictions only in April 2022.
When Sri Lanka declared bankruptcy, foreign tourists started coming to Sri Lanka because the countries where tourists come to Sri Lanka had removed the Covid restrictions. Also, the foreign workers who came to Sri Lanka due to covid, the countries where they worked removed the covid restrictions and opened business establishments that were temporarily closed. Because of this, the foreign workers in Sri Lanka went back to their workplaces abroad in the first months of 2022. The foreign workers started sending dollars. Because of this, Sri Lanka’s dollar reserves were increasing when Ranil became president. As bankruptcy had been declared, the debt payments stopped and those dollar reserves were protected in Sri Lanka. These dollar reserves include the 1.4 billion dollars Gotabhaya got from talking to China.
Even when Ranil became the president, Gota had started the necessary negotiations to go to the staff level agreement with the IMF. He took help from India for that. American Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen recently said that Sri Lanka got IMF relief due to India’s backing. Gotabhaya had also appointed a committee under the chairmanship of former Central Bank governor Kumaraswamy to take relief. The assistance of a world-renowned organization called Lazard was taken for debt restructuring. Ranil did not change the committee appointed to advise Gotabaya on relief or the Lazard company appointed by Gota to restructure the debt. Ranil took that path forward.
Then Ranil stopped cutting the lights…?’
Gota has been told for some time to increase the electricity bill sky high to stop cutting the lights. Gota did not do that. On the other hand, there was a severe drought during Gota’s time. The drought ended when Ranil became president. By raising the electricity bill sky high, it was possible to cover the loss and provide electricity.
‘Looking at it like that, what has Ranil done?’
Ranil has been president for a year. Gotabaya started IMF same year. Ranil has received 330 million dollars from the deal. The World Bank has promised to give 500 million dollars for the budget and 200 million dollars to eradicate poverty. The Asian Development Bank has pledged $350 million. This total will be received after the completion of domestic and foreign debt restructuring
That means, a year after Ranil became president, international financial institutions have granted 1,380 million dollars. Out of this has received only 330 million dollars, which was the first installment of the financial fund. But Gotabhaya managed to get about 4 billion dollars from India when the crisis occurred. That was within a month or two after the crisis. Also managed to get 1.4 billion dollars from China to increase dollar reserves.
Considering this, even if Ranil is not the president, if Gota is in the presidency, would have received from IMF that amount Ranil got. Sri Lanka will be entitled to the 700 million dollars by the World Bank and 350 million dollars by the Asian Development Bank.
‘Then did Ranil pass during this year or did Gota passed him before he left…?’
Ranil addressing the nation and told the UNP supports to lite fire crackers after getting the first installment of IMF relief and said
The International Monetary Fund has given a guarantee that Sri Lanka can restructure its debt. Thus, Sri Lanka is no longer considered a bankrupt country…’
After Ranil’s speech, everyone thought that Ranil saved Sri Lanka from bankruptcy.
After that, Ranil said on May 21 that Sri Lanka will be freed from bankruptcy by September. Below is that story.
That’s why when this country declared bankruptcy; I saw that I should try to eliminate this bankruptcy as much as possible. Being bankrupt means becoming a poor country. I assumed the presidency and reached to the I.M.F. I expect by this July, August finalise this IMF work and get out of bankruptcy by September…’
Ranil, who addressed the nation in March 2023 and said that the country has been rescued from bankruptcy, is exactly saying in May that the country can be rescued from bankruptcy by September. It shows that Ranil is playing a political game. Rescuing a country from bankruptcy is not a game. But for Ranil now bankruptcy is a political ball to hit aimed at the next presidential election. Otherwise, there is no way that the bankruptcy that was said to have been eliminated in March will come back to September.
The real story is that India and the United States are helping Sri Lanka in the fear that Sri Lanka will fall in love with China to get out of bankruptcy. Even if Gota is in the president’s chair, Sajith is there, Anura Kumara is there, they will help. When you look at it like that, there is no game played by Ranil.
But this is Ranil’s previous merit. It was Ranil who split the LTTE with the 2002 ceasefire. If he didn’t do that, Gotabhaya won’t be the hero who won the war. Knowing that the war would be won because of Ranil, Mahinda, Gota and the Rajapaksa betrayed Ranil. That Ranil will have to give a share of the war victory. Gota and the Rajapaksas, who did that injustice to Ranil, finally had to give Ranil the credit for the decisions they took at the last minute to recover not only the presidency but also the bankrupt economy, and make Ranil pass.