New President to take oaths at Parliament Complex today


President-elect Ranil Wickremesinghe will be sworn in this morning before Chief Justice Jayantha Jayasuriya at the Parliament Complex.

Wickremesinghe speaking after the announcement of being elected as the eighth Executive President of Sri Lanka requested Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena to allow him to take oaths somewhere in the Parliament Premises -outside the Chamber-the place he spent ‘his entire life’.

He also recalled how both he and the Speaker started their political journey in 1973.

“Now I have been elected as the President by this Parliament and it gives me immense pleasure that you are chairing the Parliamentary sittings and announcing my name from the Speaker’s chair. We both started our journey together,” he added.

Thanking Parliament for electing him, President-elect Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday (20) invited his fellow candidates Dullas Alahapperuma, Anura Kumara Dissanayake and Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa to join hands with him to establish a new programme to overcome the economic crisis in the country.

“We had 48 hours to stay divided and let’s come together now to work on a new programme.”

He also invited former Presidents Mahinda Rajapaksa and Maithripala Sirisena too to join hands with him to come out of the current crises the country is facing. 

Born on 24 March 1949, Wickremesinghe started his political career as the chief organiser of the United National Party in Kelaniya Electorate in mid-1970. He was later appointed as the chief organiser of the Biyagama Electorate. In 1977, he was elected as a Member of Parliament for the first time and was the youngest Cabinet Minister in the J.R. Jayewardene Government where he held the position of Minister of Youth Affairs and Employment.

He was the Minister of Foreign Affairs at the age of 28, and later served as the Cabinet Minister for Youth Affairs, Education and Industry, Science and Technology.

Wickremesinghe served as the Leader of the House between 6 March 1989 and 7 May 1993 and also served as the Leader of the Opposition in the Parliament of Sri Lanka from 1994 to 2001 and from 2004 to 2015.

He was first elected as the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka on 7 May 1993 and held that position until 19 August 1994.

Wickremesinghe, an alumnus of the Royal College of Colombo and entered the Faculty of Law of the University of Colombo and sworn in as a lawyer.

BY Gagani Weerakoon and Methmalie Dissanayake