Ranil became Prime Minister for the first time on May 1, 1993, following the assassination of Premadasa. No one expected Ranil to become the Prime Minister of this country at the time. Even his uncle J.R did not believe he would. Following Premadasa’s assassination, Prime Minister D.B. Wijetunga was appointed President. Sirisena Corey was the UNP General Secretary when he became President. Before being offered the Prime Minister ship to Ranil, Wijetunga had asked Corey if he wanted to be Prime Minister, Corey had told the media. He refused to accept the Prime Minister’s position, and requested offer it to Ranil from the President Wijetunga he had revealed to the media. However Ranil became Prime Minister astonishing a crowd of would be prime ministers such as Gamini Dissanayake, crown prince of Bandaranayake’s Anura.
Ranil’s first year as Prime minister went on well, many believed since Wijetunga is old in 1994 Ranil would become the presidential candidate in the next election. Some others thought Wijetunga would win 1994 Presidential election retain Ranil as the Prime Minister and make Ranil the candidate in the next election and retire. ‘Deaf and blind’ was the nick name used for Wijetunga during Premadasa government. Once he became President all used his initials to refer as ‘doing bloody well’
Ranil became Prime Minister on 7th May. It was a royal journey since 1993 to 1994 march. Oil price reduced, the opposition that credited assassination of Lalith to Premadasa’s account was weakened. Ranil was emerging as UNP’s future leader. The opposition that was united against the assassination of Lalith before 1993 May 1st were fighting each other. Bandaranayake crown prince Anura and the Chief Minister in 1993 provincial council elections Chandrika were fighting openly.
Chief Minister Chandrika, who won the provincial council elections in 1993, became a national leader but was unable to make significant progress and was stuck in one place. But in 1994 to defeat the southern provincial council’s budget the kidnapping of Francisco took place somewhere in January. During this period Ranil’s arch rival Gamini Dissanayaka was making headway to join UNP.
Ranil was successfully blocking Gamini’s re-entry to the party with the help of general secretary Corey. Gamini to enter the parliament those MPs whom were willing to sacrifice their seats of the National list were influenced not to do so by Ranil and Corey. Finally, it was not possible to foresee a resigning MP to allow Gamini to enter Parliament. Gamini, on the other hand, did not give up. He managed to persuade a MP to resign and gain admission to Parliament. Despite being Ranil’s friend, Wijetunga took Bandaranayake’s crown prince Anura to the UNP without Ranil’s knowledge.
Senanayke’s crown prince Rukman too was taken to UNP. During J.R’s government the stalwart where Ranil could not get closer Ronie de Mel too was taken to UNP. During the first year as Prime Minister many of Ranils enemies were leaders in the party.
To defeat people’s front southern provincial council budget by kidnapping Francisco and dissolving the council Wijetunga opted an election. It was a battle Ranil vs Chandrika because this was the first election under Ranil’s leadership he faced after becoming the Prime Minister. Chandrika created an anti UNP force in the south and initiated the defeat of 17 year old UNP government. Ranil fell and lost his premiership in 1994 election.
Next occasion Ranil assume primer ship was in 2001. It was a period after Prabakaran’s attack to katunayaka airport, and the entire country was in dire state and the economy growth was on minus. Ranil became Prime Minister and commenced talks with Prabakaran. Cessation of hostility agreement was signed. Ban on LTTE was lifted. People approved all this.
In 2002 Ranil recorded a sweeping victory in Local Government election by clinching a Bandaranayake strong hold Athhanagalla to UNP. Ranil became Prime Minister in 2001 December. LTTE got annoyed with Ranil in 2002 December for convening an aid conference to Sri Lanka without LTTE in America.
An aid conference in Tokyo Japan was held where a huge aid was assured to Sri Lanka. LTTE participation was a must for this conference. Ranil made a big effort for that. LTTE informed Ranil that they are unable to participate in the Tokyo aid conference exactly after one year of Ranil’s premiership. In 2002 April LTTE informed Ranil their withdrawal from the Pease talks. Even by this time LTTE has begun killing the intelligent unit members of the army. Ranil reduced the oil prices. Reduced Gas prices, but nothing favoured him in 2003 November Chandrika removed Ranils government ministries and completely pulverised Ranil.
In 2015 Ranil become Prime minister once again. Maithripala won the presidential election, got the SLFP leadership, and captured SLFP MPs and made Ranil the Prime Minister. In 2015 Ranil won the election and elected as Prime Minister through a mandate. Government became powerful day by day, oil price reduced, gas price reduced, salaries increased, Rajapakses were jailed.
Anti-government forces feared the FCID and hid. But exactly after one year into Ranil’s assuming office problem concerning Arjuna Mahendran arose. Maithri took a firm decision that Arjuna Mahendran should be removed as the Central bank governor. Ranil opposed it. Maithri made a visit to the Central bank without informing Ranil and Arjuna. Ranil and Arjuna rushed to the central bank. However Maithri influenced UNP ministers made Ranil miserable and removed Arjuna Mahendran and appointed Indrajith Kurmarasamy as the Central bank Governor.
It was the second year of Ranil’s term. Following that, a commission was formed to investigate the bond scam. Ranil was harassed. There was an attempt to arrest Ranil, who was only Prime Minister for the sake of being Prime Minister. Maithri took command of the situation. Ranil was deposed as prime minister after being defeated in the 2018 local government elections. He reclaims the Prime Minister ship, but his powers deteriorated day by day. Ranil suffered a crushing defeat in the 2020 general election.
This history of Ranil indicates that once he becomes Prime minister the first year is very smooth and progressive but on the second year he gets everything muddled. It happened in 1993, it happened in 2002, and 2015 too same plight happened. Ranil completes one year in July this year as the president.
‘will what happened in 1993, 2002, 2015 happen completing one year as president..?’
That is not known
‘That happened when he became Prime Minister. Now Ranil is President….?’
Someone may make a remark in this manner. True, Ranil is the President. However, he is president thanks to Rajapakse’s Poduperamuna votes. There is a significant difference between becoming Prime Minister in 1993 under Wijetunga, Prime Minister in 2001 under Chandrika, Prime Minister in 2015 under Maithri, and President in 2022 under the Rajapakses.