Though dumped by the people 20 months ago, Ranil Wickremesinghe popped out like a long shut Jack in the box to be harnessed to the Rajapaksa yoke as the chief tiller to furrow anew the land they had turned to waste.
After secret talks held behind closed doors with President Gotabaya Rajapaksa at the President’s House late Wednesday evening, it emerged that the beleaguered President, driven to the wall by mass protests and deserting ranks, had offered Ranil Wickremesinghe the prime ministerial post in the new ragbag interim government he, the President, was desperately seeking to form.
No doubt, it was an offer he couldn’t refuse. But if the new Central Bank Governor’s threat on Wednesday to resign if an accountable Government was not formed within two weeks, increased the pressure on the hapless President to resign, Ranil eased the tension by instantly accepting the offer.
Without a Parliamentary seat to call his own; with his party decisively vanquished and reduced to zero at the August 2022 general election debacle; and having only returned to Parliament furtively through the rear door 11 months later on July 23, 2021 to occupy the solitary national list seat awarded to his party on the collective vote tallied, the prospect of ever holding political office would indeed have seemed remote and dismal to him.