Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe celebrates his 69th birthday today (24). A series of events to mark the Prime Minister’s birthday will be held at Buddhist Temples and other religious places of worship around the country.
The main religious programme to invoke blessings on the Prime Minister would be held at the Sedawatte Purana Viharaya at 5 pm today under the guidance of Ven. Abanwala Gnanaloka Thera.
A special programme has also been organised to distribute essential commodities including food, clothing and stationary to children and families of low income households.
Prime Minister Wickremesinghe who was born on 1949, a year after Independence and is the second son of Esmond and Nalini Wickremesinghe. He has three brothers and one sister.
He received his primary and secondary education at Royal College, Colombo.
Having graduated from the University of Colombo with a Degree in Law, he enrolled as an Advocate of the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka in 1972, and then, practised as a lawyer for five years.
As the youngest Minister in Sri Lanka at the time, he held the post of Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs under President J.R.Jayewardene. Throughout his ministerial career, the Prime Minister has held the positions of Minister of Youth Affairs and Employment. Education, and the Minister of Industries, Science and Technology.
In 1993 after the untimely demise of President Ranasinghe Premadasa, Premier Wickremesinghe was appointed Prime Minister during the Presidency of D.B.Wijetunge. Since then, he has held the post of Prime Minister during the period from 2001 – 2004 when the United National Front Government won the general elections in 2001, 2015 when the Yahapalanaya government was established and once again in August 2015 when the UNP won the General Election.
After the UNP was voted out in 1994, Wickremesinghe became the Leader of the United National Party and the Leader of the Opposition in Parliament. Under his leadership, the UNP undertook extensive restructuring at institutional and grassroots levels and further democratised the Party to represent a more equitable balance in terms of ethnicity, gender and youth.
He is married to Prof.Maitree Wickramasinghe, a Professor at the Department of English at the University of Kelaniya.
(Source: Daily News)