Sri Lanka’s reelected Prime Minster Ranil Wickremesinghe, who came to office after Maithripala Sirisena’s victory in the presidential elections last January, had already served as Prime Minister two times previously.
The first time he became Prime Minister was in 1993 after the assassination of President Premadasa by an LTTE suicide attacker. Then Prime Minister Wijetunga became the new president and appointed Wickremesinghe Prime Minister.
But Wickremesinghe lost the 1994 parliamentary election and he had a much more powerful internal rival within the UNP leadership, Gamani Dissanayake, who became the opposition leader and UNP hopeful for presidential elections. But Dissanayake was killed by a female LTTE suicide attacker during this campaign. In the aftermath of these presidential elections, when Dissanake’s widow was defeated by PA (SLFP) candidate Chandrika Bandaranake-Kumaratunga, Ranil Wickremesinghe became the new UNP and opposition leader.
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