President Ranil Wickrem-esinghe yesterday likened his role to the victorious Royal College First XI Captain Dasis Manchanayake and professed Sri Lanka too will triumph despite setbacks whilst calling out for a good team to win that Big Match too.
Ranil Wickramasinghe has shamelessly used a victory of his school’s students for his political needs.
Speaking at the 32nd Interact District Conference held at Temple Trees Wickremesinghe emphasised that the Royal College cricket team’s effective captaincy ultimately led to the team’s victory at a time when all of the matches were being lost and that his effort is to lift the defeated country to the path of victory similar to what the captain of the Royal College cricket team did.
The President recalled that when he assumed office last July, the country was experiencing numerous crises such as shortage of fuel, food, and fertiliser. He compared this to the Royal team, which had suffered a string of defeats, and claimed that many people believed the country would not be able to recover. However, the President stressed that his team was able to change that situation and create economic stability in the country in the last seven months and emphasised that Sri Lanka is no longer a bankrupt state.
He said this while the Finance Secretary was swearing that there is no money even to hold an election and even violating the court orders to hold the election.
Wickremesinghe, a distinguished Royalist and officiated at the post-match awards ceremony on Saturday, drew many parallels and referred to valuable lessons from the 144th Royal Thomian Battle of the Blues. The English press, in particular, had reported the Royal College cricket match with the ulterior motive of boosting Ranil Wickremesinghe’s popularity.
“As for the Thomians, they have to study why they lost. Why the Royal won. What are the weaknesses in your strategies and how can you win the D.S. Senanayake shield next year. So that itself is a test in leadership. For Royal College, and especially its Captain, it is another test. Having lost many matches, first, how do you prevent a defeat and second, how do you win.
“So instead of looking at how to prevent a defeat, he decided to go for victory. It was good leadership and I must commend him for turning a situation in which Royal was losing all matches, into a victory in the final encounter,” the President said adding that: “Now I am also trying to do what the Royal cricket Captain had done.”
Having listed the difficulties the people and the country faced mid-last year, President said it was like the Royal team which had lost most of the matches and many thought that Royal won’t be able to come out of it.
“So far, in the last seven months, we have been able to; my team has been able to stabilise the situation. There is fuel now. There is electricity. There is fertiliser and by April, there will be enough rice and other foodstuff,” he said.
“We will no longer be declared a bankrupt nation, but a nation that can restructure its debts. That will happen in the next few days. So like the Captain of the Royal Team, I also have to perform the same function,” the President said.
He told the forum of 700 Interactors countrywide, that to build the new economy and be prosperous he needs a team.
“When I lay that plan down, I need a team for that match. That is going to be the big match. We have to decide whether we are going to make it, whether we are going to develop the country or whether we are going to let it slide. For that game who is my team? My team is going to be all of you. What we will lay down now, is the 25-year plan,” the President told the Interactors. This ‘Plan’ don’t have any people’s mandate. But now people should submit to this plan for 25 years.
“In order to win this match, stabilising the economy alone is not enough. You must make the economy grow. Unless you make the economy grow, we will go down again. This is not like the Royal-Thomian match which is played in three days or some of the other school matches that are played in two days. This is a 25-year match. The second innings will be much longer than the first innings,” Wickremesinghe said.
“The first innings is only four years, the second will be 21 years after that. So this is the game that we have to play: That all of you here have to play. That game we must play to win. We must become the most prosperous country in our region,” the President stressed.
Referring to some of the youth might be thinking of going abroad and leaving Sri Lanka, the President reiterated “All I want to say to all those who are thinking of going abroad is not to abandon the country. In the next two years, you will see the country developing and then you will see that you have a future. Certainly, go out. Certainly study. But remember to come back. Because this is a 25-year match.”
According to him, the youth should commit themselves to a process of accepting what a single old man like Ranil Wickramasinghe says and worshiping him, accepting whatever the IMF says, imprisoning and prosecuting a large number of other young people of their own generation. He is of the opinion that the youth should submit to a so-called development project without any growth plan.