Ranil Wickramasinghe should cultivate himself to behave like a future President, by being different from what he is now.

By Charles.S.Perera

Ranil Wickramasinghe if he wants to be the President of Sri Lanka , should cultivate himself as a person who has the qualities of a President. He should act, talk and think as a possible candidate for the high office when ever it is in the offing.

The people seeing him, listening to him, and providing an occasional insight into his mind when ever he discusses a political issue , a social subject, or a religious matter should be able to see in him a wise, thoughtful leader who would be an asset to the country as the President.

He should be calm, pleasant, and reflect before he makes a pronouncement on any issue. Even when evidence points to a certain quarters as responsible, he should not jump to conclusions, throwing accusations at any one, and he should be able to restore peace and order among those around him who accuses others, on flimsy evidence, and make wild speeches.

Ranil Wickramasingh should behave un-reproachfully, with evident sincerity, and willingness to help even his enemies. On National issues he should express his point of view, but allow those in charge do their job without undue criticism to discourage, or bring them to disrepute. He should be careful to be democratic in all matters.

The President in power has been elected democratically by the people, and therefore he should respect him and not go down to the level of a ruffian, a trouble maker to accuse him or denigrate him, because that sullies his own personality as a future President.

If the incumbent President is wrong or what he does is not according to his political programme, it should not be made an occasion to go round the country and get on to any platform to criticise the incumbent President. On any controversial issue Ranil Wickramasinghe should first meet the President and discuss the matter with him before he issues a statement to the press. His rapport with the President Mahinda Rajapakse should be cordial and understanding. People expect more friendly contact between him as the Leader of the Opposition , and Mahinda Rajapakse as the President.

It is not in keeping with his position as a future president to toot horns at demonstrations against the government, or distribute anti government pamphlets in market places. As a democrat and a person who is likely to be the next President Ranil Wickramasinghe must cultivate good relations with Mahinda Rajapakse. He should meet him regularly to discuss political issues. Ranil Wickramasinghe should not always behave towards the President of Sri Lanka as a rival or an antagonist, he should on the other hand be respectful of the office he represents.

Ranil Wickramasinghe is not Mahinda Rajapakse's rival for the office of the President until the next election has been announced. Therefore, until the next elections Ranil Wickramasinghe should not treat Mahinda Rajapakse as his antagonist, but he should on the other hand be his friend and councillor. That will win more people on to his side, so that when the time comes to select another President, those people will be his supporters.

Ranil Wickramasinghe, should not allow himself to be used by those who oppose the President Mahainda Rajapakse , to carryout their personal vendetta against the President. Mangala Samaraweera and Rauf Hakeem are openly using Ranil Wickramasinghe's position to make things difficult to the President Mahinda Rajapakse. Ranil Wickramasinghe should not allow that to happen.

Neither Managala Samaraweera, nor Rauf Hakeem could in any way help Ranil Wickramasinghe enhance his political image. With such political personalities, Ranil Wickramasinghe should follow a middle path without courting the enemies of Mahinda Rajapakse showing excessive friendship towards them, nor rejecting them all together. Ranil Wickramashinghe should be able to calm them down and bring peace and good relation between rival politicians.

That is also a quality that will enhance his image of a likely future President. Ranil Wickramasinghe should not be over ambitious. He should learn to wait patiently until the time is propitious for him to act to win over the people and make the government pay for their failures to carry out the promises given to the people.

All his statements made during the assassination of non government political personalities have only made him unpopular . It is not the popularity among the people of his party sympathisers that count for his election to the high office of the President . Ranil Wickramasinghe should be a personality acceptable by every one no matter where lies their political sympathies.

At the present moment the general public considers the LTTE terrorists as their enemy number one. Ranil Wickramasinghe should be with the public to condemn and denounce terrorism. He should not remain at that level but further help the government in its fight against terrorism. That will make him popular among a larger number of the people of Sri Lanka. His not denouncing the terrorists and holding the Government responsible to the death of Late General Janaka Perera, and T.Maheshvaran were great mistakes that made people have doubts about his own roll in those assassinations.

It is not the rhetoric of S.B.Dissanayake , Tissa Attanayake, Mangala Samaraweera, and Rauf Hakeem that would help him to get the seat of the President of Sri Lanka. He should have a larger view without seeking to discredit the government at every moment at every incident. Ranil Wickrmasinghe may have come off well with the public if he seized the opportunity provided in the assassination of the Late General Janaka Perera and 27 others, to condemned the terrorists, instead of blaming the government for it.

It is still time for Ranil Wickramasinghe to get nearer to being the most popular political figure of the people, to assure his future election to be the President of Sri Lanka. For that he should give up seeking to discredit the President Mahinda Rajapakse and his Government, and begin by condemning the terrorists as the common enemy of all the people and helping the President Mahinda Rajapakse overtly in his determination to defeat terrorism for ever.

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