Gota’s citizenship documents not given to Elections Commission | Daily News


UNP lawyers’ group:

Gota’s citizenship documents not given to Elections Commission

A group of President’s Counsel who are also members of the United National Party yesterday charged that Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna Presidential Candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa could still be a United States citizen.

At a press conference convened at the Hilton Hotel, Colombo, eminent lawyer Upul Jayasuriya PC pointed out that SLPP Presidential Candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa had not been submitted any documents pertaining to the renunciation of his US citizenship to the Election Commission. Jayasuriya stated that the National Elections Commission (NEC) Chairman had earlier informed all candidates who are contesting for the Presidential Election on November 16 to submit affidavits to the Commission with their nomination papers.

SLPP candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa had not submitted an affidavit when he was submitting his nomination to the Election Commission.

 According to the information received, Gotabaya Rajapaksa had not submitted any documents pertaining to the renunciation of his US Citizenship.

Jayasuriya stated that Court of Appeal had earlier dismissed the writ petition which was filed seeking an Interim Order restraining Presidential candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa from holding out or claiming that he is a citizen of Sri Lanka and from acting on the basis of the purported Dual Citizenship Certificate.

Jayasuriya also stated that former Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa had earlier decided to contest for the upcoming presidential election as an alternative candidate of the SLPP. The decision has been taken following a court case filed against Gotabaya Rajapaksa. However the Court of Appeal had dismissed the writ petition filed against Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

“However, President’s Counsel Ali Sabry produced documents at a press briefing which he said confirm that the SLPP candidate is no longer a US citizen. Ali Sabry also claimed that Gotabaya Rajapaksa had submitted his application to revoke US citizenship on 17 April and received confirmation on 3 May, but his name was not in the second quarter report of the Registry. ”, PC Jayasuriya also stated.

Jayasuriya also stated that the US Federal Register recording the renouncing by individuals of their U.S Citizenship was released every quarter. But Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s name was not included in the Federal Register renouncing the individuals of their U.S Citizenship for the third quarter of 2019.

“At least they should have taken the precaution to ensure that the US Department of State includes Rajapaksa’s name on the Registry list of the third quarter”, Jayasuriya stated.

He also stated that there is suspicion regarding the revoked citizenship documents recently shown to the public that the signatures of a US official in the document were forged. Jayasuriya noted that the lawyer Ali Sabry had stated that they had submitted documents with regard to the renunciation of Goatabaya Rajapaksa’s US citizenship to the Election Commission last week.

He also stressed that the cancelled US passport is still with the possession of Gotabaya Rajapaksa. According to the normal law, the US passport would have been taken back by US authorities once a US citizen gives up his citizenship.

PC Jayasuriya further stated that Attorney Ajith P perera has yesterday submitted a letter to the Election Commissioner requesting copies of documents with regard to the renunciation of Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s American citizenship.

Replying questions by journalists, Jayasuriya said that no one could get an answer from the US authorities because of their strict privacy laws. He said that the US authorities will not diverge any information regarding their citizens.

He argued that if it was found that Gotabaya Rajapaksa was still a citizen of the US after the presidential election, he would be disqualified if he was elected as president.

Lawyers Farmen Cassim PC, M.C.Jayawardena PC and Thisath Wijegunarathne PC also participated.

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