Duminda challenges Gota over citizen renunciation document | Daily News


Duminda challenges Gota over citizen renunciation document

SLFP National Organizer MP Duminda Dissanayake yesterday called on former Defence Ministry Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa to go public with the official document of renunciation of US citizenship which he claims to have in possession.

Speaking at the SLFP press conference at the party headquarters, MP Dissanayake queried as to why Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) Presidential aspirant Gotabaya Rajapaksa hesitates to prove his eligibility by disclosing the official document of renunciation of his US citizenship.

“Former Defence Secretary Rajapaksa has told the media that he is in possession of the original document provided by the US State Department to prove renunciation of his US citizenship. Why keep it as a secret? He can put a rest to all doubts of his eligibility to contest by simply disclosing this document. Then only people will have confidence to rally around him. My judgment is that he only possesses the document which confirms the receipt of his application for the withdrawal of his US citizenship,” he commented.

MP Dissanayake asked Rajapaksa to reveal the document he claims to have in possession before the SLPP Convention scheduled on August 11, adding that it would make their decision easy. “I think the SLPP will not announce their candidate on that day. The event will merely mark Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa assuming the party’s leadership. The people will have to wait longer to know who their candidate is,” he said.

Vowing that the SLFP would be the decisive force that decides the winning Presidential candidate at the next election, MP Dissanayake said the SLFP’s position would be announced at its Anniversary Convention on September 2.

“The UNP has announced the formation of a new coalition on August 5 and the SLPP has stated that it would hold its convention on August 11. We are carefully watching both these events. We need a people friendly leader who genuinely cares about the country. He must be a leader who does not reverse the people’s victory. A leader who backtracks on the promises he made is not suitable for the country,” he remarked.

Responding to a question by a journalist, MP Dissanayake said that there has been no discussion with the SLFP on forming a national government again.

Observing that MPs Chandima Weerakkody and Dilan Perera, who attempted to join the SLPP, have been rejected by the SLPP grass root level supporters, MP Dissanayake said more members are likely to follow MP Kumara Welgama and join hands with the SLFP group in the coming days.

Responding to questions by journalists, the MP took pains to convince that the rent of the new Agriculture Ministry building was lesser than that of the World Trade Centre and ‘Sethsiripaya’ building complexes which house many ministries. He was however critical that the Presidential Commission of Inquiry which probes into a complaint on this matter possessed no required details for comparison when he was summoned to record a statement.

“I was happy to go before the PCoI as I was able to prove that I was not guilty. The rent for one square foot of the new building was Rs 167 and this rate was less than the rent of the WTC or Sethsiripaya,” he replied.

Commenting on the deliberations of the Parliament Oversight Committee on National Security to revise the laws to make them uniform to all people in the country, the MP said several Amendment Bills drafted to achieve this end would be presented to Parliament before the end of September.

Observing that India too has banned the Muslim divorce law, the MP noted that the time is ripe to make necessary changes to the Muslim Marriage law in Sri Lanka despite the objections by few groups. He said Muslim religious leaders and right thinking Muslims are in agreement that such revisions are needed.

He said the Oversight Committee would hold a discussion with the relevant Ministers, Ministry Secretaries and officials next week to expedite the process of drafting required laws.

Presidential Election during its anniversary convention at the Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium. The party’s future course of action will also be made known to the public on that day,” he added.

Responding to a question by a journalist, MP Amaraweera said the SLFP has not been invited to the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) convention on August 11, and also does not expect an invitation to it. “SLFP-SLPP discussions are going on. It is better the SLPP waits till the discussions are over to announce the Presidential Candidate,” he added.

Former Western Provincial Councilor Gamini Thilakasiri said that the Provincial Council Elections be held prior to the Presidential Election.



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