Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe had won over people not by changing his attire or religion, but by his royal conduct and breeding, Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne said yesterday in Colombo.
Senaratne , speaking at the launch of the book “Ranil Wickremesinghe – A Political Biography” by Dinesh Weerakkody at the BMICH, attended by a representative gathering including President Maithripala Sirisena, said that Wickremesinghe had the strength of character to be who he was – a liberal humanist, who did not just follow the herd.
In an obvious reference to Royal College Colombo 7 , where the Prime Minister had his early education and learnt of books and men and learnt to play the game, Senaratne said that Wickremesinghe had displayed his “Royal Breeding” by not getting swayed in the populist Sinhala only campaign, but embraced all communities and religions in a bid to establish a One Sri Lanka.
The allegation that Wickremesinghe did not have the support of the traditional Sinhala Buddhists ,was a myth which had been shattered, Senaratne added.
Tourism Minister John Ameratunga delivering the welcome address, spoke about the political progress of the Prime Minister , while Ven. Galabodda Gnanissara Thera traced Wickremesinghe’s family history and their social service.
The key note address was delivered by Dr. Shashi Tharoor, former UN Under-Secretary-General and Indian Minister of State for Human Resource Development and Minister of State for External Affairs on ‘Sri Lanka’s balancing act between India and China’.
The book talks of the Prime Minister’s ancestry and his rise, his vision for a new Sri Lanka, the policy options available and that there is a big difference between connecting with voters and delivery.
Ranil Wickremesinghe was born on March 24 , 1949. He has been the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka four times, equaling Prime Minister Dudley Senanayake’s record. He is the longest serving Leader of the United National Party, since 1994, and an elected Member of Parliament for Colombo District since 1977.