American citizenship of SLPP Candidate Gotabaya likely to be a major issue in the polls. | Security Risks Asia Humane ClubMade with Humane Club

American citizenship of SLPP Candidate Gotabaya likely to be a major issue in the polls.

Published Nov 13, 2019
Updated Feb 06, 2020

There are allegations that he has not renounced US citizenship by 30 Sept 2019, despite his claims giving up US nationality on May 3, 2019.

Gotabaya Rajapaksa will remain a citizen of the United States and will not be able to function as President even if he is elected into office as the latest Federal Registry released by the US government doesn’t include the name of the SLPP candidate claim opposing leaders in Sri Lanka.

President’s Counsel Upul Jayasuriya says there is no convincing evidence that Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, the Presidential Candidate of the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) has relinquished his US citizenship.

Speaking at a press conference held, President’s Counsel Jayasuriya stressed that there were problems with the authenticity of the documents presented regarding the abolition of citizenship. Former president of Bar Association of Sri Lanka pointed out that although documents were presented to the Election Commission regarding the abolition of citizenship when submitting nominations, the actual documents have not been handed over to the Election Commission. Mr. Jayasuriya disclosed these facts to respond to the claims made by the Legal Advisor to Gotabhaya Rajapaksa President’s Counsel Ali Sabry at a press conference held on 10 November.

The Federal Registry provides details of those who have renounced their citizenship in the recent past. Pending clarification from the SLPP or Mr Gothbaya himself the issue may become a touch point in the elections which are only days away with a Buddhist monk even holding a fast demanding the opposition presidential candidate to prove that he has annulled his U.S. citizenship.

As per Colombo Page, a group of lawyers convened a media briefing in Colombo to comment on the statements made by the lawyers of President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa regarding the withdrawal of US citizenship.

Mr. Jayasuriya also pointed out the fraudulent marks in the cancelled U.S. passport of Gotabhaya Rajapaksa that was shown to media by PC Ali Sabry at the media conference. He pointed out that even if Gotabhaya Rajapaksa wins the election while being an American citizen, his presidency can be annulled in the same way former UPFA parliamentarian Geetha Kumarasinghe lost her seat.

President’s Counsel Upul Jayasuriya stated that if a candidate who is contesting the Presidential Election has a problem about his citizenship, he should submit an affidavit and all relevant the documents to prove his citizenship to the Election Commission at the time of submitting nominations as per Colombo Page.