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Ranil Wickremesinghe A True Leader

Dynamic Commitments and Interests

Ranil is the Chair of the Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara Dayaka Sabha. The historic Kelaniya Temple was reconstructed by his great-grandmother Helena Wijewardene. He is also a member of the dayaka sabbhas of the Gangaramaya, Walukaramaya and the Weragodalla (Sedawatte) temples. Historically, the Weragodalla temple has been associated with the Wijewardene family for many years.

Ranil was honoured internationally by being unanimously elected the Chair of the Asia Pacific Democratic Union in 2005 (the APDU is part of the International Democratic Union which promotes common democratic values in countries where democracy is fragile or oppressed). He also holds the ex-officio position of Vice Chairman of the International Democrat Union.

One of Ranil’s greatest interests is in history. The closest to his heart has been Sri Lankan history, as well as the narratives of Buddhist civilisation in the region, though he is equally knowledgeable about histories of war and peace around the globe. His interest in Buddhism fuelled him to write the book “Deshapalanaya Saha Dharmaya” (Politics and Buddhism), giving his worldview of the Buddha as the first radical thinker to espouse the values of democracy, individualism, equality; and the practices of consensus building, tolerance and non-violence; in tune with free markets and human rights. He has also written on Sri Lankan history, Buddhism and world politics.

Ranil is an avid reader – devouring books, web articles and news relating to regional politics, international affairs and world history on his cherished Ipad. He prides himself on being up to date on the cutting-edge developments in all fields of knowledge from technology to literature, from agriculture to public administration. He appreciates traditional Sinhala music, western classics and opera as well as Bollywood songs. Ranil also relishes native dishes especially a good Stringhopper, Hopper, Thosai or Biriyani feed as well as international cuisine. In his spare time, he likes to travel to places of historic and cultural interest with his wife, Maithree. These include travels to Theravadha Buddhist countries and the Vajirayana Buddhist regions of the Himalayas.