3 December, 2021

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Dual Citizenship At A Price!

By Bandula Kothalawala

Dr. Bandula Kothalawala

Dr. Bandula Kothalawala

According to a news item in today’s papers, some 2,000 Sri Lankan expatriates were “awarded” certificates of dual citizenship at a ceremony held at Temple Trees on 17 November 2015 by HE Maitripala Sirisena, President of Sri Lanka. One is struck by the solemnity and grandeur of the occasion, apparently, graced by a constellation of local dignitaries including the Prime Minister. Nevertheless, there seems to be something odd about this particular spectacle.

In the first place, Sri Lankans who became citizens of another country should not have been stripped of their nationality. They should have been allowed to retain their nationality. In fact, Sri Lanka is one of the very few countries in the world, the citizens of which automatically lose the right to the nationality of their own country when they become citizens of another country. It is the prerogative of each and every nation to define the rules governing the retention and/or the acquisition of nationality. However, the state should exercise that right with fairness. It is hard to understand why a Sri Lankan citizen should automatically lose his/her nationality just because s/he becomes a citizen of another country. Many of us have obtained foreign nationality for a variety of reasons including hassle free travel. I have been working in the International Department of the Trades Union Congress (TUC) in London for over 26 years now. It would have been impossible for me to do my job as an international policy officer, as it involves frequent travel to various parts of the world. A Sri Lankan passport holder has to secure an entry visa for all but a few countries in the world. Very often, s/he has to apply for a visa, at least, three or four weeks in advance, depending on the destination and often cough up a tidy sum, in addition to filling in numerous forms accompanied with voluminous supporting documentation.

It is hard to understand why the acquisition of foreign nationality by a Sri Lankan is considered an offence punishable by withdrawal of his/her nationality. In the recent past, the media have reported on a spate of financial and other scandals involving people of all walks of life including prominent politicians of all hues. The lurid details published in the media would certainly make many a politician in the so-called banana republics blush. Curiously, those allegedly involved in the unsavoury deals are all deemed fit and proper persons to continue to be Sri Lankans unlike the expatriates who have chosen foreign citizenship for whatever reason. I hasten to add that I am not suggesting for a second that they be deprived of their nationality. I am only pointing to the fact that there seems to be limitless tolerance for one category of citizens and zero tolerance for others. If the acquisition of foreign nationality is so serious an offence, one wonders why it has been made possible to recover it, albeit at a price! According to the criteria for dual nationality published by the Department of Immigration and Emigration only those who have considerable financial resources at their disposal are eligible to apply for it. http://www.immigration.gov.lk. The fee per applicant is LKR 250,000, with some reductions for spouse and children.

As far as I am aware, South Africa is one of the few countries whose citizens lose their citizenship when they become citizens of another country. However, South African nationals have the option of applying for the retention of their citizenship when they apply for the citizenship of another country – choice not available to Sri Lankans. Moreover, those who lost their citizenship under the apartheid regime are retrospectively exempted from the loss of their SA citizenship under the SA Citizenship Act of 1995. In other words, they are allowed to resume their citizenship. Furthermore, the fee for the resumption of SA citizenship is only ZAR 300, which, in comparison, makes the fee for SL dual citizenship about eighty-three times more expensive based on today’s (18/11/2015) exchange rates. If the comparison is made on the basis of purchasing power parities (PPP), Sri Lanka charges over hundred times more for her dual citizenship than the Republic of South Africa! It is possible that ordinary Sri Lankans dazzled by mind-boggling sums incessantly bandied about in the media have lost their sense of proportion and tend to believe that all SL expatriates have struck gold abroad, especially, those living in the west. After all, in Sri Lanka, hardly a day goes by without someone making a demand of, at least, Rs 500m as compensation for alleged defamation or making allegations of fraud running into billions of US dollars! Therefore, ordinary people may be convinced that the eligibility criteria and fees are not, after all, so onerous and that many can afford them without difficulty. One can only hope that they will disabuse themselves of the myth. Of course, there are wealthy individuals among Sri Lankans, as there are among other expatriate communities.

It is often said that the SL Government has been forced to restrict dual citizenship for security reasons. While there may be some truth in it, it is worth pointing out that the legal provisions relating to the automatic loss of citizenship date back to the Citizenship Act No. 18 of 1948. Other nations do not seem to have resorted to drastic measures due to civil strife. Colombia is a case in point. Colombians have gone through immense suffering due to the on-going civil war in their country for more than five decades now. Yet, the Government of Colombo has imposed no restrictions on dual citizenship.

Strangely enough, even dual citizenship is viewed with suspicion in Sri Lanka. The 19th amendment to the Constitution bars individuals with dual citizenship from being members of parliament. Nevertheless, the authorities seem to have no qualms about appointing a foreigner to the post of the governor of the Central Bank. Please, note that I am not commenting on the suitability or otherwise of the past or present incumbents.

It is, indeed, a pity that the SL authorities have failed to realise the benefits of granting dual citizenship for Sri Lankan expatriates who are able and willing to make a significant contribution to the economic and social development of the country. They seem content to tinker with rules and regulations for political expediency. Of course, it is all about good governance! Sri Lanka – land like no other!

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Latest comments

  • 19
    2

    Can anybody please explain me as to why German passport holders are not given dual citizenship?
    I myself know there are several dozens of higher professionals with lanken origin that could do lot for the country- if they were offered duality. This was discussed by several forums sofar. But nothing seem to work on that anymore. Current rulers of the country must work on this soon. Gotabaya blocked all the chances blocking the system over the last 4 years. It was handled as if it was his ministry. For no reasons, 4 years are gone. NOw Longer these professionals wait, specially the ones that can help srilanka will have no other options than leaving there noble motives in terms of supporting the country. This is actually a great loss.
    Almost many hospitals across Germany, especially in german metropoles, there are medical and natural science professionals working for their jobs. Most of them are willingly to support their motherland if the respective authorities would make due arrangements them to regain their local identities. One of my friends happened to share me lately, that he would like to work with lanken hospitals if he is given the chance. A few of them are qualified in Cardiology. Some are experts in Diabetology. Please let this issue discuss in this forum. Many thanks.

    • 10
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      This article is unbiased and a great one.

      As you explain, some treat dual citizens very strangely. There you are right. Of course, there should be a better selective system – when awarding the duality. Else, anyone with all culprit mind sets could become a dual citize, consequently that could end up with the unexpect but- at least higher professionals should be given the chance to share their knowlwedge – that can benefit all – after all the poor ones. Lanken health related issues can then be better addressed. Good thing while living in Europe, we have commended the manner MY3 led govt banned the round up import. These are exemplary even to some EU states. Germany is still disccusing on the issue.

    • 14
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      Bro r they tamils, no chance forget it. They need dummy sinhala Buddhist…

      • 9
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        This is no right. I myself know many that are non-tamils. But they have no chance.
        You always turn it to racial views. That has nothing to do with that. As some commentators pointed out – lot to do with German closeness. Unlike UK, France and other states, they are not close to the world yet. They have thousands of paragraphs in their law books. Just go to an pharmacy (Apotheke) to collect the info about any simple ailment. Germans in general would explain you book loads of things so that the patients or informant could fall down further. That is the nature of Germans – they always round the clock to control things that could for example occur in 20 years or so. They are complicated like their underground road net works.

        • 1
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          Very strange what this person is explaining about German way of life. I have been living here for last 50 years. My experiences
          in Germany are entirely positive in every manner. Everytime I went
          to the chemisty, they took time & helped in every manner.

          Siri

          • 5
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            I can see your head getting square because even in a village there is a robot arm that does the job for the pharmacist as a helping hand.
            Germans are not sensitive folk- 1 million still coming to 2. await elections.

      • 1
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        talking through your nrear orifice i see.

    • 4
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      I dont think it has much to do with Sri Lanka. AFAIK German laws governing citizenship is complex. It allows duality with some countries but not others. I think SL also operates on a principle of reciprocity, adding to the confusion. I guess best place to ask is SL Immigration

      • 7
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        You may be right. For Germans, Srilanka is an another poor country.
        If we had resources that the Germans could profit, for sure, things could work in a positive manner. Our people thoough feel that SRILANKA is developed to this date- even today, lankens have much in common with under poverty countries than those in developed world. Politics and relationships open chances to create the like issue accordingly. Indonesia is also a devloping nation, but germans have long deals with them than for example with lankens. Where they have their focus – there, they ease their political negotiations – permitting even dual citizen issues.

    • 3
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      It is derived not from the srilankan immigration rules but from the German side. According to German migration rules there are very few nationalities allowed to possess dual citizenship besides his or her German citizenship for ex. Iraniens or since recently Turks or Columbiens (?) in this particular case a colombien can never giveup his citzizenship. The reason was this restriction based on one reason, it was believed that the dual citizens might find some loop holes exempting them from any obligatory duties for the german nationals, like the 1 year militory service, by claiming that in this particular case they would prefer to be a turk or iranien. And far worser that these citizens might get involved in any criminal matters and can evade the arrest and charges by just moving to their birth country.
      However if the srilankan foreign policy makers can agree on the handling of citizenship rights in case of dual citizenship this can be solved.

    • 14
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      Dr. Bandula Kothalawala

      RE: Dual Citizenship At A Price!

      “According to a news item in today’s papers, some 2,000 Sri Lankan expatriates were “awarded” certificates of dual citizenship at a ceremony held at Temple Trees on 17 November 2015 by HE Maitripala Sirisena, President of Sri Lanka. One is struck by the solemnity and grandeur of the occasion, …”

      Remember, before that, The MaRa Rajapaksa Mafia had to be bribed to get the dual citizenship..their birthright.

      That is the reason for the celebrations… victory over the corrupt Rajapaksas.

      Remember, Lanka is the Land of Native Veddah Aethho. Everybody else, Para-Sinhala, Para-Tamils, Para-Muslims and other Paras are Paradeshis, Foreigners.

      http://www.nature.com/jhg/journal/v59/n1/full/jhg2013112a.html

      Journal of Human Genetics (2014) 59, 28–36; doi:10.1038/jhg.2013.112; published online 7 November 2013

      Through a comparison with the mtDNA HVS-1 and part of HVS-2 of Indian database, both Tamils and Sinhalese clusters were affiliated with Indian subcontinent populations than Vedda people who are believed to be the native population of the island of Sri Lanka.

      “In the first place, Sri Lankans who became citizens of another country should not have been stripped of their nationality. They should have been allowed to retain their nationality. In fact, Sri Lanka is one of the very few countries in the world, the citizens of which automatically lose the right to the nationality of their own country when they become citizens of another country.”

      This is the Ugly face of Para-Sinhala Buddhist Racism and Nationalism, so that they they can selectively deny citizenship to Para-non-Sinhala Buddhists.

      Remember, they took the Citizenship away from Upcountry Indian Para- Tamils after independence, in the Land of Native Veddah Aethho.

      • 1
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        A blatant lie to implicate that the Rajapakses had to be bribed to get dual citizenship. One must fill the required forms follow the corect procedures and the dual citizen ship arrives by post. could take as much as a year !

        • 3
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          If not already taking bribes, the whole process of first suspending the scheme in 2011 and then reinstating it with a Rs.500,000 fee and an interview with the Secretary of Defence served no other purpose except create the condition for bribery and corruption. Thankfully, the Presidential election intervened and the Rajapakses were chucked out.

          • 2
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            Yep their…MALAYSIA. MY SECOND HOME…project by which they made ppl INVEST. In the country…whereby they got money without paying interest to WB or IMF… all u had to do was invest US $200000 of which u could withdraw 50 % after 1 year…they disallow that now…

            Like Sylvia said…they want u to show proof that one is not a parasite( show a monthly income comin into the country) on their economy n medical care..they will stamp a 10 yr visa. Which can lead to citizenship…

    • 7
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      Germany s key commercial alley is the turks. There are turks in the coutry that have been living in Germany for several decades, but some of them have no rights to apply for any citizenship.Law prevailing in germany are very strict as nothing could be helpful to those victizmed people. It is believed, all the guest workers that were called to help their economy after the war is over in early 50ties – contributed their sweat to build up german nation/country to the levels that they enjoy today.

    • 0
      1

      I am being informed that only about 10 counties allow dual citizenship.

      Can someone confirm this?

      • 5
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        Dual Citizenship Allowed countries:
        Australia, Barbados, Belgium, Bangladesh, Canada, Cyprus, United States, United Kingdom, Switzerland, South Korea, South Africa (requires permission) , Egypt(requires prior permission), Greece, France, Finland, Germany (requires prior permission), Iraq, Italy, Israel, Ireland, Hungary, Iceland, Sweden, Slovenia, Syria, Serbia, Armenia, Lebanon, Malta, Spain ( allows only with certain Latin american countries), Tonga, Phillipines, Romania, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka (by retention), Pakistan (accepts only with 16 countries), Portual, Turkey (requires permission)

        Sri Lanka is shown here as retention. meaning when Sri Lankan citizen acquire citizenship of another country there is no onus to give up the Sri Lankan citizenship.

        However many Sri Lankans gave up their Sri Lankan citizenship for security reason.

        For example when a dual citizenship holder is in Sri Lanka he is considered Sri Lankan first, so in case of any emergency he/she wants to leave the country they cant seek the help of the High Commison/Embassy of their second citizenship country

        Dual Citizenship Not Allowed countries:Andorra, Austria, Azerbaijan ,Burma, Bahrain, Botswana, Japan, China ,Czech Republic, Denmark, Fiji,India,Indonesia, Ecuador, Estonia, Iran, Poland, Papua New Guinea, Brunei, Japan, Peru, Kuwait , Kenya, Kazakhstan, Chile, Kiribati, Poland, Korea, Kuwait, Denmark, Latvia, Singapore, Slovakia, Ecuador, Lithuania, Solomon Islands ,Fiji ,Malaysia, Mauritius, Netherlands, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Thailand, Mexico, Nepal, Venezuela, Norway, Zimbabwe, Mauritius, Myanmar, Nepal

        • 1
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          Rajash

          Machchaan! you are really good.

          Keep it up.

          • 1
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            Thanks Machan
            I will buy you a G&T

            • 1
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              Rajash

              Wonderful.

              Thank you for giving the prompt for the G&T.

              I love you.

            • 3
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              You information regarding Germany is not right.

              German does not allow dual citizenship to the lankens. As Saumel made it very clear above – there are higher professionals that got their Diploms and Doctoral levels degress do work for the germans but none of them own srilanken passport. That is what Samuel is stressing above.

              Please Rajash, if you know more information regarding the issues raised by Samuel above, please add your thoughts. Thanks.

              • 2
                1

                Leelagemalli
                here is the clarification on German dual citizenship law.

                “non-EU and non-Swiss citizens must usually renounce their old citizenship before being naturalised in Germany…”

                on the 3rd July 2014 German lower house of parliament made an amendment to dual citizenship:

                Germany’s lower house of parliament passed new citizenship laws yesterday (3 July), relaxing some of the strictest rules in Europe to allow young Germans of foreign origin to hold two passports – a move that benefits the large Turkish community.

                Until now, children of immigrants from most non-EU countries have had to choose at the age of 23 between German citizenship or that of their parents’ country of origin.

                Young people can now have two passports if, at the age of 21, they can prove they have lived in Germany for at least eight years or have gone to school in the country for six years and gained school-leaving qualifications

                • 2
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                  Thanks. But what matters for us the lankens is whether Germany has met with new regulations in terms of those lankens be given their passports back – I am not talking about varied kind of former refugees but professionally qualified ones that have expertise in Medical, Science and similar other areas. As Samuel makes it very clear, there should be some that are willingly to support their counterparts in the home country. There I am also in the view that it is so sad that the rulers cant make any special arrangments in terms of the mentioned category of former lankens.
                  I know myself there are turks that face the difficulty for ages even if they are the large migrant community in Germany for the last 6 decades.
                  I know east european medical graduates still start their jobs at german hospitals. The same criterias should be the case with lanken that would want to migrate to Germany for example. Here though they must learn the langague, but that they can achieve while being in the first 1-2 years. iF rulers could meet with the kind of new pacts with germany – at least few hundreds of lanken medicos can start working in Germany, and other countries that constantly want foreign graduates. In that way, we can reduce the labour forces that have been sent to middle east for their arbitory slaughter houses.
                  Even yesterday, I happened to read, a significant fraction of the housemaids sent to ME countries are physically assualted/hurt by those arab men – even sexual crimes- they are compelled to face.

                  • 1
                    1

                    I am not sure why you and Samuel are so specific about Germany?
                    not sure what you mean by the following:
                    “But what matters for us the lankens is whether Germany has met with new regulations in terms of those lankens be given their passports back “

                    You the go to contrdict your self by first saying this:

                    “iF rulers could meet with the kind of new pacts with germany – at least few hundreds of lanken medicos can start working in Germany”

                    the you go on to say:
                    “In that way, we can reduce the labour forces that have been sent to middle east for their arbitory slaughter houses”

                    how can Germany taking more doctors reduce the number of maids going to ME

                    Doctors = undeducated maids?

                    unless you are saying doctors go first,then they need house help, so get the maids to come to Germany. What a brilliant idea?

                    and the maids can ahve adulterous sex in Germany without the fear of being stoned to death or being whipped

                    • 5
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                      What he meant may be considering that new govt s aim to ban sending housemaids to middle east countries. If all those crimes go up with the time, why to send lanken housemaids to those countries. Instead as those commentators say, current regime to find new abkommen with Germany or other western countries- on skilled or UNIVERSITIY educated professionals being sent to them as guest workers. That can bring more foreign exchange to the country than sending uneducated housemaids to those arab destinations.

                      While travelling across DUBAI or Abudabi (just transit) I also notice how those lankens suffer in those countries.

                  • 1
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                    Is it necessary to hold dual citizenship to help your own country?.
                    Siri

                    • 3
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                      everybody helps themselves to help the country.
                      dual is the manipulative trip.

            • 1
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              Hi Rajash. Can I call you Machan too. I would have thought if one had gained Dual Citizenship from one member country of EU it is as good as holding citizenship in all 28 member countries as there is freedom of movement and residence between members. Also many of the countries in your Not Allowed list, allow permanent residency and eligible to buy properties E.g. Malaysia where many retirees from the developed West go, have only to show evidence of a set monthly income and a set capital for a comfortable living.

              • 2
                0

                Machan Sylvia Haik
                I agree with your point that EU citizens can move freely within the European Union countries.This known as the Schengen agreemnt. A bordeless EU for free movement of labour

                However UK is not happy with that agreement simpley because all most ll of the refugees prefer an English speaking country as they dont want to learn a second languag

                thre are other reasons UK is sceptical including (a)security issue (b)Financial issue (c)welfare issue

                The recent Paris bombing was masterminded in Belgium. I understand some of the gunmen came as refugees form Syria.

                There are lots refugees including Sri Lankas(Tamils, Sinhaleas and Muslims alike)who have acquired refugee/citizenship status in one of the European countries and move freely between UK and the country of their abode and are exploiting the welfare system in both countries.

                • 0
                  0

                  Rajah s…..isnt there a difference between EU and Schengen countries? my thinking is…. NOT all EU countries r in the Schengen…like Cyprus,Romania Bulgaria n of course UK..just trying to educate myself…correct me if I’m wrong…

                  • 2
                    0

                    the 26 European countries generally allow passage with DNI/PP. Non country may request for a work-permit from local police station. This is something the Netherlands has being adopting on its own. With DNI have travelled (discretion at port of call is final for any form of visa.) to Bulgaria University before it joined the EU- they smiled and let go.(no pp no visa but at airport a slip)
                    discretion is the word for travel visa.- a privilege as Theresa May once told Trump but backtracked.

              • 1
                0

                Citizenship/Residency is for sale in many countries.
                Its just a matter of price.

                examples:
                US: 1 million dollars (I think the same for Canada)
                Sri Lanka: USD 100,000 + USD 1,500/month income (not sure of income part)

              • 1
                1

                And yes plenty of Europeans (few Americans, distance) do take up residency in Sri Lanka. Its been going on since the late 90’s and is on the upswing as Sri Lanka is becoming safer than Europe.

                Just go down south, most houses near the beach and even miles interior belong to

                The deterrent for many would be European’s is the high price of property in Sri Lanka now.

                Search for Lanka Lands and Lanka Real Estate for websites that cater property to would be residency seekers.

                • 1
                  0

                  “”Just go down south, most houses near the beach and even miles interior belong to””

                  it’s famous from the days of hippie for kuddu, boys and bums. the homes are in the name of lover and on lease. the foreigners pay the rate that is running in that part of the world no more.

                  Here SL need it to cast a vote and that is proving costly.
                  Only poor prop the warlord regimes.

    • 4
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      “…some 2,000 Sri Lankan expatriates were “awarded” certificates of dual citizenship at a ceremony held at Temple Trees ….”

      whay cant they just drop the certificate and passport in the post?

      • 3
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        A very good question Rajash . SL are game for a Tamasha any time at the expense of the poor Taxpayer .

        • 1
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          This is not me another Sarojini CT please rectify this error.

        • 0
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          Espicially during MR…era…never had SL spent lavishly

      • 2
        1

        Hey Rajash – that is a good question – but on the other hand, dont you think that getting them to their hands and meetings with the authorities could give both sides chances to exchange what those expatriate can do for the nation ?

        • 1
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          well they paid Rs250,000 each to start with, perhpas that partly funded the Tamasha for the authorities.

          • 1
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            No this cant be.

            I keep the faith on RW and his admin. He is no means fund abusive minded.

    • 3
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      All these people commented here not because of they love Sri Lanka or to share the knowledge that they gain from the country they domicile. Simply they wanted to protect their lands and properties and the investments they made in Sri Lanka. I do not think that government should not pay too much attention to these people. I guess, Sri Lanka has talents, select those individuals and give them training/education and they will be the future policy makers and not these “Kalathoni” migrants who bark now for their personal benefits. Sri Lanka government should be cautious, when approving the dual citizenship to these Kalathoni’s … shame on you felllows to say that you are Sri Lankans !!!

      • 2
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        that could be valid for some, but the medical and other science profesosnals could help their own country more if they are given duality. That should be clear to anyone – I really dont think that you can put all in the same drawer.
        Pathetic that you guys seem to be blocking resources that we the lankens could really profit on.

      • 4
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        Why are you so bitter about the people who live outside of SL? The only reason I can think is that you were a failure in that attempt, and this is an opportunity for you to vent that anger. It’s just like the bitter grapes for the fox when he couldn’t get it.

    • 4
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      Samuel,
      this is a great issue. SL regime could build up new kind of relationship with lankens. Germany need more highly qualified medical and science professionals. Lanken adminsitration should work on that .. that could then become a new avenue to lanka. Closing ties with uneduated middle east, all what the wise politicians do is to make new ties with european countries – so that lanken graduates could work on the west. That could bring billions to lanken avenues.

    • 0
      0

      Sri Lanka has signed Dual Citizenship agreements with only 10 countries, namely US, Canada, Switzerland, France, Germany, New Zealand, Australia, Norway, Sweden and Italy. Therefore Sri Lankans who acquire citizenship of only those 10 countries can still retain/regain SL citizenship after approval.
      Certain countries by law do not permit dual citizenship, like, India, Germany, Denmark, Singapore etc

  • 14
    3

    Once a Sri Lanka citizen, one should have the choice to remain as a SL citizen even after attaining citizenship in another State. It should be a natural right.

    The 1948 citizenship Act was to disenfranchise Tamils in the Hill Country. The suspension of dual citizenship by the previous government was again to prevent Tamils whom the govt did not like becoming citizens again.

    I wonder why the govt nor the press did not give the names of those who were given dual citizenship. In the past it is the Immigration dept passport office gave dual citizenship and there were no “Royal” event or publicity. We are still in a Feudal society and uncrowned kings.

    • 0
      0

      Sri Lanka must be one of the few countries that haven’t recognised the enormous advantages in granting Dual Citizenships with negligible disadvantages. If any British becomes a citizen of another country, many of them do, they remain a UK citizen until such time the citizen expressly removes himself from the citizenry. Many retirees have become citizens of Malaysia, USA etc. but also remain a UK citizen. There were colonialists who remained in Ceylon (Sri Lanka) after independence as citizens but also remained as UK citizens.

  • 13
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    When a person obtains citizenship in another country, that person has to take an oath of allegiance to that particular country give up the Sri lanka passport.

    Such persons can not eat the cake and have it.
    There should be no dual citizenship.One should chose in which country he/she needs the citizenship.

    If such person had remained a permanent resident only in that country, then he would not have had to surrender his/her Sri lanka passport.
    Thereby, could have have retained Sri Lanka citizenship.

    You give up thats it.
    Also nothing can prevent such a person assisting Sri Lanka.
    You can not have the best of both world.

    • 9
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      Thondamany, what is your brand of fodder ? Or you just behave so ?

      We dont just compare this with just uneducated lankens that live on the west abusing the social previledges of those countries. As Samuel makes it very clear – foreign educated lanken orgin Sinhala or Tamil should be given a chance to share their knowledge and expertise back in their home people. What has that to with the choice of the place. Those who got qualified on the west can afford anywhere – we the lankens need them not other way around. I have no doubt RW adminitration would work the issue soon allowing srilanken Doctors and Natural Scientists could share their experience with thier fellow professionals in their home country.

      Rulers should through their embassy representative contact German external affairs so that these professionals could be awarded with Dual citizenship.

  • 4
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    THE most sensible article of the year 2015. Thank you Bandula

  • 15
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    The Author of this piece is incorrect when he states that Sri Lanka is one of the few countries of the world that does not allow automatic retention of the Sri Lankan nationality when obtaining citizenship of another state. There a whole host of countries spread through out the four continents whose constitutions do not permit dual citizenships e.g India, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Indonesia, Japan, China and Korea in our own region.Denmark and Norway almost all the mid eastern muslim countries.In fact there numerically more countries that do not recognise dual nationality than those who do.

    I became a British Citizen in 1973, as my then employer Philips NV Netherland, had problems getting me a Visa to the Netherlands, from the Dutch Embassy in the UK where I was resident issued on my then Dominion of Ceylon passport!

    I would also like to add that I returned to Sri Lanka in 1985 to take up a job with another multinational and had to give up my British Citizenship as the constitution of Sri lanka at that time required. I was assured by the British High Commission in Colombo that under the British Nationality Act I could relinquish and regain my British nationality ONCE.Subsequent events were such that I and my Wife acquired dual citizenship in 1992 under regulations for dual nationality first legislated and I was able to re-establish my British Nationality.
    I believe that every sovereign nation must have the discretion to regulate the granting of dual nationality. Today’s regulations are essentially those that allow the retention of Sri Lankan citizenship whilst getting permission to acquire another (dual ) nationality Do all those who claimed political asylum in foreign lands by destroying there Sri Lankan travel papers, deserve to be now admitted automatically as dual citizens ? One regret is that the process now is essentially one of ‘purchasing’ dual citizenship a money making enterprise. There must be a category which allows distinguished ‘foreign’ citizens’ to reclaim their birth right at little or no cost. After all My wife and I paid the princely sum of R.5000 ! (five thousand) each as fees.

    • 4
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      Thank you for the correction. It was my understanding which was not really based on extensive research. Bandula

    • 7
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      I know of people who had to pay a king’s ransom of Rs.250,000/ as they had no alternative,but I am also told about certain others who were given it for ‘nikang’ (free), because of their political clout and their unquestioning loyalty to the previous regime even during the time it’s issue stood suspended.
      Will the Yakapalanaya govt go into those sordid happenings now?

      • 0
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        I understand if you hold Treasury Bonds of a certain value and for a certain period, the holder is exempt from any fees.

  • 7
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    http://www.immihelp.com/nri/dual.html

    Why not follow a simple (but effective) system like neighbouring India.(check details in the above website link)

    Those who obtained citizenship in another country has to get a “Overseas Citizenship of India” card (OCI) which must be used when visiting India. It is not called dual citizenship. OCI card is issued for the life time for multiple entries. The fee they charge to issue an OCI card is about $300.
    OCI’s don’t have voting rights and they can’t contest for elections.
    They have all privileges enjoyed by NRIs (Non resident Indians)
    They can engage in private sector employment (barring a handful of professions)but not in Public sector.
    Most importantly India has not tried to close their budget deficit from the income generated by this scheme byh charging exorbitant fees like Sri Lanka!

    • 1
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      TG..I hold OCI……buy ur tkt n fly….. no need for visa formalities… ;-) ..my daughter. US citizen… Im not going to give up my SL citizenship…

  • 7
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    It is a good advice to the government from an experienced professional. Will the government take this into consideration and grant dual citizenship to all Sri-lankans expatriates charging only the bare minimum for clearing the administrative mess created by racists and bribe takers

  • 7
    3

    Do all those who claimed political asylum in foreign lands by destroying there Sri Lankan travel papers, deserve to be now admitted automatically as dual citizens? A good question?
    A case by case study should be made on the circumstances under which they fled or left our shows during trouble times, However there must be a category which allows distinguished ‘foreign’ citizens’ to reclaim their birth right at little or no cost.
    Further, those who Migrated on Educational merit and intellectuals must be given priority with a minimum cost.They also must be permitted to bring their Vehicles and part of essential belongings without further taxes being added on.With many “Turn Coats” in politics, policies can change overnight.But who Knows of Lankan policy!

  • 4
    0

    The question of dual-citizenship currently revolves on SL politics and does not take
    into question cultural ties, economics etc. It became a contentious issue in Feb.2011
    when the Minister-in-charge (MR) made an ad-hoc rule placing the 1948 Act partly on hold after his Oxford debacle. The Opposition never took it up, and illicit grants were made, with the normal bribes to the IE Dept. which is no secret. Over 2000 such issues were made as said in Parliament by Hon.Sumanthiran, very late? The FCID has yet to inquire into it.

    The current situation is tied to the Tamil Diaspora. The rush is from the new-rich
    elements residing world-wide, an expansion the SL Govt. did not forsee. Proof of it
    was that inward remittances for the first time brought Northern Province to first place,whilst Western Province held it all along.

    The I/E Officers have had a hand in targetting a large Revenue off the grant of Dual-
    citizenship. For example, they have a double-standard in this direction. Children
    were not entiltled to entry in parents passport since 10th Aug.2015 and were granted
    3 to 5 yrs. valid Passports on age-basis and reduced Fees, but when it comes to an Overseas child, passports are issued for 10 yrs. on the Adult rate of fees! The
    Fees charged for vetting a Dual-citizenship application at the Geveva Consulate for
    example is Rs.25700/- (Chf.180.00) each! The applicant has to meet a further cost with
    the Swiss Authorities; Passport Certification – 50.oo Chf, National Civil Status
    Certificate 40.00 Chf., Police Clearance 20.00 Chf. This does not deter the 1st gene-
    ration Tamils (Over 55 yrs.age) to go for it as they have their Lands, Farms and inherited Propeties and Savings to be cared for. The 13,000 applications received thus far will die off, as the next generation of Tamils will manage with the one month 30 USD Visa than go through this hassle. Most Sri Lankan Professionals will persevre to
    retain their newly acquired Foreign Citizenship for posterity sake.

  • 5
    0

    I would like to know who sits in the so-called committee. A ‘catcher’ promised me approval by the next committee meeting but when I met the AC in charge of the subject and asked him about this ‘offer’ he smiled and acted like he did not understand how a file could jump the queue.

    The process is established not to grant citizenship but to control who gets it. If there were clear guidelines, one should respect them. As in all things Sri Lankan, the rules are applied arbitrarily to prevent some from getting it. How do you explain 12,000 applying and only 2000 being selected? If the officer deemed one’s papers in order, there should be no issues in being approved, is’nt it?

    Yahapalanaya was a promise and it remain just that. Lets not fool ourselves with labels even the creators do not believe in.

    Anyone remember the Dharmishta rajya of the late 70’s. It is the same racket, same people.

  • 3
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    Let me first make a kind request to the moderator/editor of this webpaper to kindly publish this comment in full please.

    I wish to draw the attention of this forum/readers to the last paragraph of Dr. Bandula Kotalawela’s above article and I quite it:
    “Quote.
    Strangely enough, even dual citizenship is viewed with suspicion in Sri Lanka. The 19th amendment to the Constitution bars individuals with dual citizenship from being members of parliament. Nevertheless, the authorities seem to have no qualms about appointing a foreigner to the post of the governor of the Central Bank. Please, note that I am not commenting on the suitability or otherwise of the past or present incumbents.Unqote”

    I am a dual citizen of Sri Lanka domiciled in Canada with a fully fledged Canadian citizenship issued to me some time ago. Having being involved in national politics in Sri Lanka since the age 1969 and having held the position of a District Organizer of a national Political party in the Trincomalee for a long time and having engaged in active politics, since 2000 I have been in and out of Sri Lanka and have been engaged in doing work with the government both in the North, East and South, especially promoting national development and peace. Being someone connected to a prominent Muslim political family in the Trincomalee district, I has access to engage in much reconciliation activities. My last post was at the Presidential Secretariat. In 2015, I decided to contest the Trincomalee district as a candidate of a National Political Party. When everything was OK, suddenly the JVP proposed SECRECTIVELY to bring in a clause to abstain Sri Lankans having Dual Citizenship” from contesting any elections, especially Parliamentary Elections in Sri Lanka. This clause was never publicized much nor did the MEDIA and PRESS give much prominence to it. The 19th., amendment included this clause/provision as explained by Dr.Bandula Kotalawela (Refer para attached above). The time limit between the passing of the 19th., amendment and the finalizing of the nomination list of candidates was very short and I could NOT do any lobbying to withdraw this clause before it went through parliament approval. I spoke to the Editor Sunday times to grant me and interview so that I can bring out my grievances, but was never given the opportunity. I approached Derana TV to give me a slot in the “TV talkshow” so that I can express the in-just done to Sri Lankan Dual citizens in this matter. I had NO redress to my situation and was deprived of contesting the General Elections in 2015 to represent Trincomalee district as an elected representative of the people. I understood later, that the JVP and a UPF/SLFP turned Sinhalese (Mnkey politician who has been jumping from party to party and stabbed the former President in his back politically) were the unscrupulous political operatives who wanted this clause in the 19th., amendment just only to stop Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Mr. Basil Rajapaksa and Mr. Kumar Gunaratnam – Leader of the Frontline Socialist Party from entering parliament in 2015. AS A RESULT, A COMMITTED SRI LANKA WITH NATIONAL INTEREST TO GIVE THE BEST TO HIS MAATHRUBOOMIA – SRI LANKA HAVING A DUAL CITIZENSHIP WAS DENIED TO CONTEST ELECTIONS IN SRI LANKA, which according to the Sri Lankan constitution is a legitimate FUNDAMENTAL RIGHT OF ALL CITIZENS. I am now appealing to this forum and all readers who have obtained Sri Dual Citizenship and the 2000 new Sri Lankan Dual citizenship last week to contact me to my email: noornizam7@yahoo.ca at your earliest in order that we could jointly request HE. Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe to revoke the “dual citizens not allowed to contest elections in Sri Lanka clause” and allow us to contest elections by amending this clause/revoking this clause in the proposed 20th Amendment to the constitution to be presented to parliament soon.
    Noor Nizam.(Canada) Peace and Political Activist and Political Communication Researcher – Email: noornizam7@yahoo.ca

    • 4
      1

      Noor Nizam

      Not only baring contesting elections dual citizens should not be entitled to vote. This should be the only exception- all other privileges need not be affected.

      Do you think it is unfair to check the basis on which the foreign citizenship was obtained? What do you think of those who were involved in fund raising for sponsring terrorism here?

      Before you proceed with this campaign please comile a list of other countries in the world in respecct of the rights you want to bargain for, particularly India and Islamic countries.

      Soma

    • 3
      1

      Noor Nizam, I understand your grievances but if you have had been elected, would it have been fair to your constituents who deserves 100% of your time and not shared with Canada? There are hundreds of former Sri Lankans who could be of great value with a superior education, professionalism, capital and lucrative pensions not able to claim dual citizenship owing to high costs and other restrictions.

      • 3
        0

        Hi Sylvia,
        How many MPs spend 100% of their time to their constituents. In my view, none. Once elected, first thing they do is to apply for diplomatic passport and start their foreign trips. I think the foreign returned expats if they become MPs, they would spend more time in SL.

        • 1
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          Kumar Sriskanda. Your logic is mind boggling. The Dual Citizen by definition has already pledged allegiance to another country, so which one does he/she support if there is a dispute. If it’s OK to become an MP it is also OK to become Prime Minister or President. The Dual Citizenship scheme should benefit Sri Lanka and some of the proposals in the budget would do just that ie. attracting investors and capital that we sorely need.

  • 11
    0

    It is very unfortunate to observe that some people are trying to convert every issue to one of racism. Until Sri Lankans stop thinking of themselves as members of different tribes, no problem will get resolved.

    I am a Sri Lankan immigrant who has lost Sri Lankan citizenship as a result of becoming a citizen of another country. It was my choice to leave Sri Lanka and I do not complain about Sri Lanka deciding to strip me of her citizenship because I left home and became a citizen of a different land. At the same time, I respect and honour the opportunity available to me for applying for dual citizenship, I understand that there is an administrative cost involved and I am prepared to pay for it if I ever apply for dual citizenship.

    But this despicable act of offering Citizenship at an exorbitant cost is not right. It is a dishonourable act carried behind an honorable possession that is the Citizenship.

    • 0
      2

      I dont see a problem with charging, though the amount may be excessive. But being “Yahapalanaya”, we must be content that is a “Yahapath” amount and not protest, no ?

      No different to the exorbitant sums charged by UK/US etc to apply for a visa which is non-refundable if your visa is refused

  • 1
    5

    It is interesting how people attempt to confer ‘new rights’ on themselves. The penalties of obtaining foreign nationality were well known. All gave up Sri Lankan nationality wilfully, some quite openly displaying their hatred. Today they play a different tune, even claiming a love for their land of birth.
    Dual nationality is today a privilege granted with due care. More than a few were willing to pay the Rs.250,000 for the privilege. Those who discarded their Sri Lankanness should not be getting a discount simply because they claim that they have something or the other to ‘contribute’, nor because they were simply born there.

  • 9
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    I don’t see why a Sri Lankan who decides to live abroad, but still wants to have strong ties with the country of birth, must be treated this way. Many Sri Lankans living abroad do so for economic reasons, many keep coming to Sri Lanka often, have family, property, and keep sending valuable foreign exchange back to Sri Lanka.

    An Indian friend once said, once an Indian, always an Indian.

    Sri Lanka should make it easy for Sri Lankans to get their dual citizenship, and not make it too costly.

    Those Sri Lankans who want to sever ties with Sri Lanka, will not apply for dual citizenship. It will be those who still want to feel part of the country they were born, and grew up in.

  • 3
    0

    why all this hullabaloo about getting a certificate. if i di apply for one i would not bother to turn up at this jokefest. just for all these people to look and feel very important.
    what a load of bollocks as they say in my part of the world.

  • 6
    0

    Bandula Kothalawala

    I need your advise.

    I am a Sri Lankan born British passport holder.

    Is it good to give up my British passport or go for duel citizenship.

    I am now 65. I want to mostly live in Sri Lanka to do something for my people to the extent of engaging in political work.

    I wanted to be a British MP. Unfortunately lots things went against this. I am confident I can easily become a MP in Sri Lanka if I claim back my Sri Lankan citizenship.

    If Karuna and Douglas can become MPs and ministers, why can’t I?

    • 6
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      I would seek professional advice before giving up British citizenship. You may know that people with dual citizenship are no longer eligible to stand for election in Sri Lanka. It is always nice to hear that people are willing to return to Sri Lanka and make some contribution to the wellbeing of its citizens. Best wishes. Bandula

    • 2
      0

      I really dont think you will have problems to get visa back to UK even if you would give up your british nationality. Today, computerised data keep them well aware all about a person. Just mouse click on their data bank helps them finding all about the a person. So if you can please – why not you become a MP for the well being of the srilanken people. Mine is different, Just because I have got chances to continue my research – I need to keep european passport – that makes my life easy while travelling from A to B within EU. Just after our uni education, we got german citizenship – now we dont have any rights in the country where we were born to. I understand we could do lot more to the nation if we were offered dual passport.

  • 1
    3

    The cost associated with obtaining the duel citizenship can’t be considered too costly for someone who has established themselves in another country.

    • 4
      1

      The cost is not too costly
      but Rs250,000 per person is indeed expensive.

      • 4
        4

        U$2,000/- . Less than the cost of a second hand car. How much is your mother country worth which gave you free education and health enabling you to establish yourself comfortably in the new abode.

        Talking about contributions you are going to make. Rather we will manage without people like you as we had been doing without you.

        Dual citizens should be taxed based on the basis of the income in the foreign country as is the case of USA, Canada and Australia citizens who work abroad.

        Soma

        • 7
          1

          somass,
          The International Tax Consultant/Expert.

          “Dual citizens should be taxed based on the basis of the income in the foreign country as is the case of USA, Canada and Australia citizens who work abroad.”

          You are attempting to replace KASmaalam with your own expertise in Taxation and Finance.

          My Elders tell me that they heard about “Double Taxation Relief”, “Remittance Basis”, “Ordinarily Resident” ……….. etc.

          Could you tell CT readers duel citizens the most efficient way of saving tax, or Tax Planning (not cooking the books).

        • 4
          1

          Somass

          I am sorry I forgot mention a important aspect of Tax Planning and retaining your income in this island.

          Once an Accountant advised my friend:

          Maintain one set of books for the Inland Revenue, one for the partners, one for for my friend (actual) and one for the wife and family.

          If ever you want to come back and decide to start a business remember the advice.

        • 2
          0

          I would rather not take dual citizenship, if as you suggested I have to pay income tax on my foreign earnings.

          I can see corrupt politicians seeing dollar notes in thier eyes, the income tax in foreign currency will go in to the govt coffers and ultimately in to the pockets of the corrupt politicians.

          I would rather send that money to my kith and kin and fund schools and hospitals etc

  • 2
    3

    We are groping in the dark. To start with let’s carry out a survey on the extent of contributions made by the existing dual citizens. It would be easier to form an opinion.

    Soma

    • 7
      1

      somass

      “We are groping in the dark.”

      Please avoid MR, Basil, Gota, …. . You will be left without your b***s.

      “To start with let’s carry out a survey on the extent of contributions made by the existing dual citizens.”

      Lets find out the extent of contribution made by those who live in this island? Many will have to leave this island simply because their contribution would be negative.

  • 1
    0

    Thank you for a good article and I like the comments of many others as well; it is gratifying to see that there is a general recognition of the values of ‘expatriates’ who have been roundly vilified for about 2 decades for ‘leaving the motherland’ whatever the individual circumstances are. Many of us (I live I Sydney, but return to SL annually) do love our native land passionately, and can contribute in various ways to rebuild our country. If common sense prevails, all will be welcomed back to contribute to national development in whichever way possible. The process of obtaining Dual Citizenship should be a relatively simple process, and it is such a shame that the process was tinkered with by the previous regime. Maybe thing are getting better? I certainly wish and hope so…..

  • 0
    0

    Following is a list of countries allowing Dual Citizenship or not. (obtained from the web)

    “Dual Citizenship Countries

    Each country has its own citizenship laws and there are many ways to apply for citizenship in a country, either by birth, marriage, descent, naturalisation or marriage. Some countries like Austria, Cyprus, St.Kitts even grant citizenship by monetary investment in their country.

    Double/Dual citizenships has been in much of the debate over the years. Much of the developed countries such as US, UK, Australia, Switzerland have no restrictions on holding dual nationality, whereas countries such as Singapore, Austria, India, Saudi Arabia do not “recognize” or “restrict” dual citizenships, leading to automatic loss of citizenship upon acquiring other. Some countries such as Austria, Spain may still grant dual citizenships upon certain special conditions under exceptional cases like celebrities..

    The following are list of countries which allow and do not allow dual citizenships. We have compiled the list through our extensive research of dual citizenship information in various countries. Please keep in mind that countries amend nationality laws from time to time and is subjected to change:

    Dual Citizenships Allowed:

    Australia, Barbados, Belgium, Bangladesh, Canada, Cyprus, United States, United Kingdom, Switzerland, South Korea, South Africa (requires permission) , Egypt(requires prior permission), Greece, France, Finland, Germany (requires prior permission), Iraq, Italy, Israel, Ireland, Hungary, Iceland, Sweden, Slovenia, Syria, Serbia, Armenia, Lebanon, Malta, Spain ( allows only with certain Latin american countries), Tonga, Phillipines, Romania, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka (by retention), Pakistan (accepts only with 16 countries), Portual, Turkey (requires permission)

    Dual Citizenships Not Allowed

    Andorra, Austria, Azerbaijan ,Burma, Bahrain, Botswana, Japan, China ,Czech Republic, Denmark, Fiji,India,Indonesia, Ecuador, Estonia, Iran, Poland, Papua New Guinea, Brunei, Japan, Peru, Kuwait , Kenya, Kazakhstan, Chile, Kiribati, Poland, Korea, Kuwait, Denmark, Latvia, Singapore, Slovakia, Ecuador, Lithuania, Solomon Islands ,Fiji ,Malaysia, Mauritius, Netherlands, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Thailand, Mexico, Nepal, Venezuela, Norway, Zimbabwe, Mauritius, Myanmar, Nepal”

    Where countries recognise Dual Citizenship Sri Lankans have no problem in retaining their SL citizenship and therefore do not have to apply in SL.
    It is where Sri Lankans have had to surrender their citizenship that they have to re – apply for SL citienship, provided that they are permitted to hold dual citizenship by the other country. All Sri Lankan Australians had to give up their SL Citizenship when they became Australian Citizens prior to April 2002. Hence they had to apply to regain their SL Citizenship. The situation has changed since 2002 when Australia recognised Dual Citizenship. Where countries DO NOT recognise Dual Citizenship – like Singapore and India, a Sri Lankan Singaporean or Indian, will have to renounce his Singaporean or Indian Citizenship – Arjuna Mahendran.
    It would appear that most of those applying for Dual Citizenship have had to renounce their SL Citizenship at sometime. It is only fitting that they pay for the privilege of re-gaining it!

    • 2
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      “”Anthony Anghie “”

      It is the law but not the authority.!

      “like Singapore and India, a Sri Lankan Singaporean or Indian, will have to renounce his Singaporean or Indian Citizenship – Arjuna Mahendran.”

      perhaps he has both.

      I have both UK and EU and don’t need a cheap SL PP.
      it’s a pain in the ass to have 2 unlike women for both hands.

      one with a western pp does not need SL pp to live at SL because people live anywhere on retirement or working life theses are annual visas, lease of property etc.

      asking for 2 pp because they like to play stupid games already known to EU system.

  • 4
    1

    Mate, you got not one, but many good points.

    Singapore Mahendran not only got the Central Bank gig on a Tourist Visa , but awarded the juicy half of the first Yahapanaya Bonds to the Son in Law at 2.95 percent more than the rest, including our hard working EPF investors who took the punt..

    And the Singapore man was sitting in front of the Yahapalana President a couple of days ago , helping Batalanda Ranil and Galleon Ravi explain how he was looking after our inhabitants Economic Yahapalanaya.

    Forcing the Sugar Daddies to pay LKR 250,000 is a good move.

    Because they are going to get in with local rates for everything by flashing their Dual.

    • 6
      1

      KASmaalam K.A Sumanasekera

      “Forcing the Sugar Daddies to pay LKR 250,000 is a good move.”

      Are you sure what you are talking about?

      Sugar daddy

      A rich older man who lavishes gifts on a young woman in return for her company or sexual favours.

  • 2
    1

    This article makes sense, but when has sense prevailed in this former Miracle of Asia?
    Thanks to Dr Kothalawala.

  • 2
    0

    For the record, Indian tamils that were brought by the British were not eligible for SL citizenship.. Period. Mrs B was kind enough to give SL citizenship for half of them and it was the right thing to do considering they bring in countries valuable foreign tea revenue.

    Lets try to focus on Dr BK’s article here since it is a well balance and researched well.
    Lots of people went out of SL for different reason and its their right to do so and no SL govt. have NO right to remove SL citizenship with out cause. ( This is the issue here).

    No SL that went out (sinhalese or tamil or other) and ask refugee status abroad, should now even allow to come to SL. Period.
    We should not create a higher tier or any tier, just because some are highly educated or valuable to SL economy. I have 2 post graduate degrees and CTO of a major US company and top of my field globally. I left SL as a child so never got Uni or Higher eduction in SL.

    Educated should be given easy access to SL immigration with out voting rights but should be able to work in SL and contribute to the countries well being. I have been doing this free of charge and also avoided nasty bribery case at SLT, when bookie CEO try to get $US2 million kappam via his brothers company. This was roughly 17 yrs ago.
    Former govt. offered me the citizenship but I politely refused since I want level playing for all of us.
    I started China R&D for my company and now it is running as a division with, $US 2billion division. I also run Japanese R&D as well.
    China and India put red carpets to expats so that they are treated fairly and we should try to get similar program in SL with out getting side tracked by racist or ilamist who are trying to re-write the countries history.
    New fees should be around 10-20 Rupees per family.
    Their vehicles should be able to bring to SL with out any taxes or duties. ( I try to do this and customs guys want massive duty since by SL law I was suppose to get it with out any duty or taxes. These are the mind boggling issues that we face due to corruption and dishonesty at every level in SL today. So I gave up.

  • 1
    2

    I am referring to the silly ******* here who are telling us that processing charge is too high.

    U$2,000/- is less than the cost of a second hand car in USA, Canada or Australia. How much is your mother country worth which gave you free education and health enabling you to establish yourself comfortably in the new abode.

    Talking about contributions you are going to make. Rather we will manage without paupers like you as we had been doing so far without you.

    Dual citizens should be taxed based on the basis of the income in the foreign country as is the case of USA, Canada and Australia for citizens who work abroad.

    Soma

  • 4
    0

    Bad news after recent 9/11 in Paris.

    My friend in Australia is telling me that Australia is mulling regulations to the effect that dual citizens may be closely monitored by security agencies,lose constitutional safety and be packed off to the original country if they choose to do so. All Western countries are likely to follow suit.

    Most likely to be affected are those with names like Mohamed and Ahmed.

    Tiger cubs are also likely to loose their favored status as non Islamic terrorists with renewed hatred inflamed towards terrorim in these societies.

    Soma

  • 2
    0

    I should like to thank the CT for providing the opportunity to discuss this issue of importance to many of us and, of course, many readers for their constructive and judicious comments. Many people known to me obtained foreign nationality after having lived for many years in the host country, often, for the sake of their children. In fact, I left Sri Lanka in 1979 and became a British citizen only in 1996. It is rather erroneous to assume that all expatriates dream of acquiring foreign citizenship at the first available opportunity and that they do it by wilfully giving up their own nationality. As far as I can recall, there was no requirement for me to renounce the SL nationality in order to apply for British nationality. The loss of SL nationality upon the acquisition of foreign nationality was automatic and I do not remember that there was any possibility of retaining it. The conflation of issues is unfortunate.

    Indeed, it is the paramount duty of the state to take all necessary steps to ensure the safety of its citizens and in view of the trauma that the country has gone through for decades, no sensible person would expect the SL authorities to compromise the nation’s security. However, it is also hard for a sensible person to believe that bank balances are inversely correlated with threats to national security.

  • 1
    0

    Dr BK makes sense and written a timely article and a sensible one although there was a minor error as some countries do not have dual citizenships.
    Sri Lanka is a small developing country with a relatively highly educated population with plenty of potential for rapid progress in the present global world. I do not think that dual citizenship poses a real security threat for SL.
    To attract Sri Lanka born citizens living abroad who had to take citizenship of another country for whatever reason; to return to Sri Lanka this taboo should be removed. They should be made to feel ” born a Sri Lankan, I should be made to feel that I should be free of any hindrance, of returning to my motherland at any time.
    Petty politics has no place in the present global world. Buck up.

  • 1
    1

    I completely agree with Dr Bandula Kothalawala. I applied for the Australian citizenship to travel easily. I have lived in four continents and traveled to more than 25 countries. Without a doubt travelling was much easier with the Australian passport. Recently, the Sri Lankan Foreign Minister said that the Diaspora’s knowledge and skills can help the country to develop, but he won’t allow those talented, knowledgeable and skilled Sri Lankans to be elected through elections to serve their people. This is nothing but our leaders’ foolishness and duplicity. No wonder why this country has been fighting the Asia’s longest civil war since the independence.

    • 1
      0

      Many among us have no other choice than go for EU, Aus, US passports depending on our carrier tasks. Had not I been given German passport, I would have faced lot of problems while traveling alone across Europe. In the same time, travelling back to my former home country – I have to apply for visa (30 day) each time today, leaving Dusseldorf or Frankfurt or Zurich for srilanka. And I have been thinking I could do lot more if I am given duality. Anyways, as some commentators make it very clear, Germans have not met with any kind of the like pacts with lanken counterparts.May be former regime failed to do so, considering all abusive nature of Rajapakshe govt. To that time, entire world hated Rajapakshe administration – for not handling any external issues properly.

  • 1
    1

    Thank you Dr Bandula kothalawela for the write-up and the summing up on the 21st Nov in the comment section. I have an another issue to be addressed and I have raised this issue in the comments sections of the article written by Jehan Perera https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/most-fitting-tribute-to-venerable-sobitha-is-to-uphold-good-governance/
    and by Kishali Pinto-Jeyawardena.

    I belong to the tamil diaspora community of SriLankan origin. I was informed by some community members that SriLanka has a practice of issuing Birth Certificates for a fee of Rs2000/= which are valid only for a period of three months. If one needs the use of B.C they have to re apply to re-validate the same. Is it a revenue generating tactics employed by the Government of SriLanka on the hapless tamil community as in the past in many other issues? As for example arbitrary arrests of tamil civilians under the guise of national security and then the victims buying their freedom by bribing the security personnel at all levels instead of challenging legally as that is the only avenue left for them. This information has greately disturbed me as the Sinhala diaspora members do not claim so! Don’t you feel this procedure is undermining the fundamental rights of the Tamil citizens of SriLanka. I have no means of challenging the system. Can you please help?
    Regards
    daya thevi

    • 0
      0

      Dear Daya Thevi
      First of all, let me apologise to you for the delay in replying. I was attending the Commonwealth People’s Forum in Malta and returned to London only last night.

      I am not aware of the issuance of birth certificates valid for only three months. It sounds bizarre to me. The information on a birth certificate does not normally change and should be valid for ever. I find this incomprehensible. If I were you, I would write to the Minister of External Affairs requesting an explanation.

      Best wishes

      Bandula

  • 1
    0

    Bandula is it the Minister of External Affairs or Internal Affairs responsible for citizenship?

    There is a small but equally passionate subset of Sri Lankans stuck in limbo thanks to the previous regime unilaterally suspending dual citizenship.

    We are Sri Lankans who took up another nationality but were prevented from taking up dual nationality before our kids were born due to the suspension. Therefore, even though my partner and I have not got our dual citizenships, we cannot return to Sri Lanka as the kids still can’t get their Sri Lankan nationality, the rules require parents to have been Sri Lankan at the time of birth (the fact we were before and after that point is irrelevant). nothing can be done until they turn 21 (bizarrely they can then get it on the basis that their grandparents were sri lankan!).

    Any idea how we can get an exception due to retroactive legislation and circumstances beyond our control?

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