Ranil Wickremesinghe: An insight for the new Sri Lanka President

Ranil Wickremesinghe: An insight for the new Sri Lanka President

July 25, 2022 0

On last week’s Wednesday Parliament, Sri Lanka elected Ranil Wickremesinghe as their new President through a cabinet vote. What most of the population has hailed as a disastrous move as the political veteran and the six-time Prime Minister is a close ally of the former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.
By defeating the former journalist Dullas Alahapperuma, Mr. Wickremesinghe became the new leader of the crisis riddled country that had just staged a revolution in an attempt to drive its corrupt leader who fled from the country and resigned from email. Now Mr. Wickremesinghe does not just face the outrage and dissent from the population but also the deep financial crises that the country currently faces.

There is a considerable debt that Sri Lanka had been functioning on for the past few years that needs to be addressed. Just to pay their interests, they have just received loans from China, who they already owe billions to. Countries like India have come forward in support, however there is a substantial debt that damages the country’s bargaining power at the world stage and negatively affects their credit for business. However, there is a way out. If the country reorganizes its financial sector and raises prizes while matching in aid for those affected and promoting jobs that can restore the economy, only then can the status quo resume. Corruption is the country’s most dire problem and needs to be uprooted as soon as possible. Finally, the populace needs to be satiated with emergency lines for fuel and fertilizer if the country wishes to save itself from famine in the nexter-year.

However, the events may not unfold as the aforementioned. The political critics and most protestors are gunning for the new President, who has never served a full term as prime minister since first landing the job in 1993. He is known as a fixture of a Sri Lankan political establishment that has failed its people through the country’s worst economic crisis in decades. They also believe that he is unlikely to deliver the substantive political change they are calling for.

Since Mr. Wickremesinghe has become the President, he has established himself as a stabilizing force with the economical and political experience to recourse bailout talks with the International Monetary Fund and attain necessary funds from multilateral institutions and bilateral creditors. His proposal for a comprehensive economic reform package that would target taxation and control the country’s ballooning public-sector spending has been met with keen eyes. The reform will prioritize resuming fuel and fertilizer distribution.

But he is proponing a stricter approach against protestors and has labeled the protestors as ‘fascist threats to democracy’, and has ordered the armed forces to quell this riotous behavior with any means on the table. To stop further riots, he has declared a state of emergency from this Monday and addressed the public with a phlegmatic warning.

However, we cannot be certain if he’s truly the people’s President or a product of a corrupt parliament. But the protestors cannot be considered the will of the people as they are a fringe minority that took over the government and ousted the President but did not challenge or protest against their already elected officials who chose Mr. Wickremesinghe. So, a case for true democracy cannot be established without knowing the full details of whom the Sri Lankan majority supports.

Apart from the internal politics, the appointment of Mr. Wickremesinghe may be good for its unilateral ties with India and other Sri Lankan international partners as he is well versed in dealing with the global policy. The country’s economy may soon resume despite having many similarities with the preceding government. We have seen similar revolutions and governance resurgence happen in several small nations like Sri Lanka where mobs are able to oust the President and replace them with their equally repulsive familiars. What happened in Sri Lanka is happening across the world as the integral problems with Democracy and Capitalism come forth. Democracy itself has failed to be an actual representation of people due to a myriad of factors and events like these force us to question if this is the right way of governing countries, period.