19 October, 2019

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‘Dual-Citizenship’ Misadventure & Unnecessary Confusion! 

By Laksiri Fernando

Dr. Laksiri Fernando

Everyone has the right to a nationality. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor deny the right to change his nationality.” – Article 15, Universal Declaration of Human Rights 

Instead of politically campaigning against, and explaining to the people, the possible dangers of the return of the ‘Rajapaksa family rule,’ two civil society activists opted to challenge the citizenship of the SLPP candidate, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, at the Appeal Court at the last moment, without allowing those matters to be settled at the Independent Election Commission on the nominations day, if there were any doubts. 

This infantile misadventure is quite unfortunate and unnecessary in respect of democracy, democratic elections, civil society role in the political system. The fallout unfortunately might disadvantage the forces against GR candidacy and strengthen the SLPP constituency, at least in the immediate context. 

In a Voltaireian spirit, ‘one could oppose very strongly GR candidacy for the presidency, but one should not oppose his right to contest the election.’ 

The Appeal Court unanimously dismissed the writ application after listening to the arguments on both sides, for four consecutive days. What became reprehensible was the jeering and behavior of GR supporters in the courtroom when the verdict was announced. It is also reported that one of the applicants of the writ order has already been threatened and intimidated. Extremism naturally breeds extremism.  

Background

The background to the adventure perhaps was the rumors floated and the so-called ‘whistle blowing’ on the assumed partiality of the Chairperson of the Election Commission, a couple of weeks before. The news was that ‘Mahinda Deshapriya Pledges Allegiance to Gota’ (Colombo Telegraph, 7 September 2019). The same report alleged that one of the Commission members, Prof. Ratnajeevan Hoole, himself had expressed doubts about the renouncement of GR’s US citizenship. It further reported that the same member of the Commission also had expressed doubts about the dual citizenship certificate of GR issued in November 2005. 

Of course if you don’t trust the independence of the Election Commission or the Chairperson, then you have to go before the Courts. Two alleged grounds before the courts were (1) that GR has not properly renounced his US citizenship and (2) more questionably or complicatedly, that his Dual Citizenship Certificate signed by the then President, Mahinda Rajapaksa (his brother of course) is not valid. 

On the first matter I have no competence, information or interest to talk about, but on the second matter, I have some information and interest, given my own dual citizenship. My attention was first drawn on this matter when a reputed ‘independent’ journalist, Rajan Phillips, wrote on ‘Plenary Powers and Citizenship’ (Colombo Telegraph, 3 October 2019) bashing the executive  presidential system, as he does, for every evil under the sun. This was quite irrational apart from emotional. It may be that plenary power is something a defense lawyer had mentioned at the court case, but it is not from any plenary power that a President signs a dual citizenship certificate, according to what I have in my possession. It derived from the Constitution before the 19th Amendment. 

My Evidence     

My evidence is my own Dual Citizenship Certificate, a copy attached below, signed by the then President, Chandrika Kumaratunga!

If I may abstract what it contains in general terms, both the declaration and the authority in approving a dual citizenship certificate, it is as follows. This is Sample 1.

Sample 1: 1995-2005 

Dual Citizenship Certificate 

Declaration under Section 19 (2)/(3) of the Citizenship Act 

WHEREAS ………………..of ……………has applied for a declaration under section 19 (2) (3) of the Citizenship Act (Chapter 349) that he/she has resumed/retained the status of a citizen of Sr Lanka although he/she has acquired/is acquiring the citizenship of a country other than Sri Lanka alleging with respect to himself/herself the particulars set out below: 

And whereas the President is satisfied that the said ……………………………has complied with the requirements of the said section 19 (2)/(3). 

Now Therefore, pursuance of the powers conferred on the said section 19 (2)/(3) read with section 44 of the Constitution the President declares that from the date of this declaration /with effect from …………. the said has resumes/retains the status of a citizen of Sri Lanka. 

In witness whereof I have hereinto subscribed by name,

………………..                                                                          ………………………..

Secretary President  

Date: ………………. 

Ministry of Defense, Colombo 1 

It appears to me that the printed format that was used in 1995 must have been the same format used in November 2005 for Gotabaya Rajapaksa. This was just after the tenure of the President Chandrika Kumaratunga. It must have also been the format perhaps used until the 19th Amendment in May 2015, when most of the powers of the President, including the grant of the dual citizenship, were curtailed or taken away. Let us not get into that argument here, whether it was correct or not. 

According to the text, the President is the approving and the declaration authority, of dual citizenships under Section (2) (3) of the Citizenship Act, as the Minister of Defense and in accordance with Article 44 (2) of the Constitution before the 19th Amendment. It is utterly wrong and hilarious to interpret and question the situation prior to that amendment, on the basis of the 19th Amendment, or on one’s whims and fancies, whoever the person under question. This is infantile disorder. 

According to the format, of course the President does not necessarily need to sign the certificate although he/she can. The Signature of the Secretary to the Ministry of Defense is sufficient, ‘in witness whereof.’ As my certificate shows, an Assistant Secretary has signed for the Secretary. But having realized that it is not sufficient, the person who was coordinating the citizenship matters perhaps wanted to get the signature of the President.  

Unfortunate Circumstances 

Therefore, the questioning of President Mahinda Rajapaksa signing the certificate of Gotabaya Rajapaksa (although his brother), does not at all appear rational to say the least. The questioning of the speed, the circumstances or the process may raise some political or moral questions, both ways, but not serious legal questions, in my opinion from the beginning when I came to know the matter. I am not saying this after the verdict.   

If the impetus for the questioning came from some revelations or ‘whistleblowing’ of Prof Hoole, it is quite unfortunate. In the article which I mentioned before, Ratnajeevan had given the following information to the Colombo Telegraph. 

While looking at GR’s Dual Citizenship Certificate on the 26th I asked him if he had signed his own certificate as Defence Secretary, and he nonchalantly replied that his predecessor had signed it. However, his predecessor could not have been Defence Secretary on 30 Nov. I let it pass.” 

The CT report also stated “However none of the three commissioners scrutinized the documents or indicated much interest in the affair.” It is quite possible that GR gave a dead-rope to Ratnajeevan ‘nonchalantly’! What else one would say if you ask ‘did you sign your own certificate! 

After the 19th Amendment? 

Sometimes, good things can emerge through bad deeds. ‘Every cloud has a silver lining,’ the saying goes. At least we can turn things in that direction. The case filed by the two civil society activists has generated some debate about the authority, procedure and conditions under which the dual citizenships are being awarded in our motherland. That would have been a good initiative if it were started before or without unduly politicizing the issue or targeting a single person, however reprehensible his role has been in office in the past.   

I don’t have very many examples but can produced a format under which the dual citizenships were being awarded since 2015. It may be that it is now improved or changed, but this is the specimen I can produce at the moment. This is Sample 2. For confidentiality, I cannot produce the original or reveal the name of the person.     

Sample 2: After 2015

Dual Citizenship Certificate 

Declaration under Section 19 (3) of the Citizenship Act,

Where as (b) ………………… of (a) ………………has applied for declaration under Section 19 (3) of the Citizenship Act, (Chapter 349) that she has retained the status of a citizen of Sri Lanka although she is acquiring the citizenship of a country other than Sri Lanka alleging with respect to herself the particulars set out overleaf. 

And whereas the Minister is satisfied that the said ……………….. has compiled with the requirements of the said Section 19 (3). 

Now therefore, in pursuance of the powers conferred on him by the said section 19 (3) of the citizenship Act No. 18 of 1948 as amended by Act No. 45 of 1987 the Minister declares that with effect from (c ) ………….the said (b) ……………….. has retained the status of a citizen of Sri Lanka. 

In witness where of I have subscribed by name. 

…………………….                                                                    …………………………

Secretary                                                                                                  Minister 

Date: ………….

There are obvious ‘minor’ errors like (a) coming after (b), ‘whereas’ or ‘whereof’ spelled as two words (where as and where of), and having only one gender, admirably however all as ‘she.’ Therefore my male friend who showed me the certificate goes as ‘she.’ We all do make mistakes in writing, but this is an official state document. In fairness, I must say, it is possible that (a) (b) confusion is due to the Sinhala text translated into English. 

It appears even before the 19th Amendment, but after the change in January 2015, it was not necessarily the President who authorized the dual citizenships but a Minister. (It is also possible that he also was issuing dual citizenship certificates). This may be considered a great achievement by some. But the question is the Declaration or the format that was used does not say what Minister. It is not printed. 

The certificate I have seen was signed by John Amaratunga. What ? Yes, John Amaratunga! He has signed with his seal as the Minister of Public Order and Christian Affairs in May 2015. His Secretary of the Ministry also has signed the document, but I don’t want to reveal the name as he must be just a public servant, if not a political appointee. 

Conclusion 

There can be few simple conclusions. (1) Politically motivated legal challenges are reprehensible without proper legal or moral basis. The JVP has already rejected Rajitha Senaratne’s insinuations about legal challenges on similar grounds as ‘madness.’ (2) Even for your worst political enemy, there should be some decency in dealing with political or other issues. (3) Those who advocate democracy should follow those principles first, like understanding human rights of everyone to have citizenship or change it. (4) There are serious questions about civil society organizations and activists based on the above discussed legal adventure and similar matters. (5) Independence of civil society activities from partisan politics and/or groups/cliques is of paramount importance. 

(6) There are obvious defects and infirmities in the procedures and authority of issuing dual citizenship certificates, before and after 2015. These should be soon rectified and regularized with transparency. (7) People who obtain dual citizenship, after paying so much of money, should have a decent document (nicely printed!) without ambiguities. All dual citizenship certificates that I have seen so far are extremely poor documents issued before or after 2015.  Sri Lankans with dual citizenship should not be embarrassed of having to produce a pitiable document to countries that they live in. 

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Latest comments

  • 13
    8

    Laksiri, my dual citizenship application was also held up for a while with the presidential secretariat I was told. After the security clearance it had to go to the President.

    Unfortunately a number of writers here (CT) were barking up the wrong tree. Now they will keep on barking up the judicial system. Sad but true.

    Let the candidates contest and people choose the next president of SL.

    • 2
      3

      Dr. Laksiri,
      These USAID funded fake civil society activists are part of the problem and not the solution to the corruption and democracy deficit in Sri Lanka.
      As you rightly point out they have been causing a media spectacle and distraction from the main issues with this citizenship issue.
      What the fake civil society activists should have done is point out the dangers of Sri Lanka becoming a US colony under goon Gota, as he has such a lot of US baggage and educated the masses on the US-Saudi role in the Easter Economic terrorism attacks against Sri Lanka in order to set up US military bases and the fact that Sri Lanka is the victim of Superpower terrorism by the biggest Rogue State in the world!

  • 22
    5

    Even though copies of very important documents proving Gotabaya’s Sri Lankan citizenship were not available with the Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Home Affairs, the Department of Immigration and Emigration or any other government body, the judges took a very liberal view of this matter and ruled that his citizenship was valid on the basis of only a single document that was submitted. There was no convincing proof to indicate when exactly this document was prepared and signed; it might have been prepared recently and pre-dated. There was no corroborating documentary evidence to backup the authenticity of the document submitted to court. There was also a total absence of the customary nit-picking about the adequacy of the documents submitted to prove the defendant’s claim regarding his Sri Lankan citizenship.

    What I want to know is, if the same charges had been brought against a lesser individual, would the same verdict have been given? And the case heard and disposed of at lightning speed to suit the convenience of that individual?

    • 14
      1

      All these problems with dual citizenship is because it was not introduced with good intentions. The history of how this came about is interesting. JRJ wanted to appoint Dr. Wickrema Weerasuriya (Gamini Dissanayake’s BIL) as high commissioner to Australia, but there was a problem as he was an Australian citizen. The rule in diplomatic posting is that a citizen of a country cannot be appointed as an envoy to that country representing another country. The only way is to make him a Sri Lanka citizen, but Weerasuriya was not willing to forgo his Australian citizenship. Hence this concept of dual citizenship was introduced to help Weerasuriya to be appointed as High commissioner to Australia. For your information my mother got her dual citizenship (UK & SL) in 1981 without any delay paying only 1000 SL rupees.

  • 22
    1

    The act of appointing a person a dual -citizen is an administrative action . It is also a serious thing when a person is conferred citizenship.

    As I understand all our freedoms arise out of the attempt by courts and legal procedures to curb and control administrative ( State) power. This why courts in developed jurisdictions pay much attention to due process.

    Forget the individuals here. A man applied for dual citizenship on Friday and got it on next monday. The appointing authority is his brother ! All other applicants have to wait for more than six months and submit a long list of documents.

    In this country what we are saying is the President can do anything. This is the kind of process we have ! Our legal system , merely because they dress in an European style, cannot be any better than all other institutions in this culture.

  • 5
    2

    if mahinda signed it after taking his oaths then it is okay and chandrikas cabinet is in force till a new one is appointed
    however fools rush in where angel fear to tread so leave it to the lawyers

    • 0
      0

      nalmen – Leaving everything to the lawyers yields the same results as leaving everything to the politicians. Nothing can get you into deeper trouble than misplaced faith!

  • 17
    2

    I applied for it some time ago. I made my payment too..
    But no replies why is this ?.
    If it is a friend of a politician or relative of a politician…he could have got it over night .
    No Mahinda to sign for it ..
    No Ranil to sign for it ???
    What a Sri Lanka is this ?.

    • 5
      0

      you can check online about the progress of your application. Ring the office and follow up or get a relative to go and enquire personally

      • 1
        0

        ‘or get a relative to go and enquire personally’

        So very 21st Century. So very Sri Lankan!

  • 22
    9

    Prof Laksiri Fernando tries to shoo away the ‘Dual citizenship of GR as a non-issue. He mentions that his dual-citizenship papers was signed by the then President B implying that he pulled strings.
    The citizenship issue did not matter at all when GR was appointed to the civil service job Defense Secretary. The then CEO of SriLankan Airlines Peter Hill was also expat. Remember MR sacked Peter Hill and MR family buggered the airlines to begger-hood.
    GR’s citizenship did not matter when Colombo University conferred the doctorate to GR.
    .
    GR is a candidate for the Executive Presidency of SL. It is important that GR’s citizenship issue is resolved.
    Laksiri is pathetic here.

    • 11
      9

      “Laksiri is pathetic here.”
      KP, to be more precise, delete the last word of the sentence.

    • 3
      1

      Pillai,
      It is already resolved; decision is not yours or mine but given by the Judiciary unanimously; if the judiciary is independent under Yahapalanaya, why should you be worried about it. Gotabhaya was a clean Sri Lanakan citizen, a clean US citizen, a clean dual citizen, and now a clean Sri Lankan citizen again. That’s all I understood from this entire drama!
      My issue is that you guys were nowhere to be seen when JRJ made a similar decision about WWeerasooria in 1977 but are all out to criticize MR for his work. Gotabhaya Rajapaksa was a Sri Lankan citizen; then he became a US green-card holder/citizen. When MR came to power he got dual citizenship and it was an urgent requirement given the issues the country had faced at the time.
      In any country the executive should have such appointing powers and that’s normal, not exceptional unlike some of you guys have suggested here. GR is generally accepted/ recognized as a ‘doer’ in Sri Lanka. The majority people in Sri Lanka believe that they need a strong person like Gotabhaya Rajapaksa to get the country out of this current mess! He has completed many challenging tasks of similar nature (Terroist war, beautification of Colombo etc) That’s a gigantic plus point for him at this presidential election.

  • 7
    6

    Now Gotabaya’s Srilankan citizenship is confirmed legally. He got it legally or illegally is no matter. You all know how Mahinda regime functioned during his period. Even he throw the Chief Justice out of power. Whether he was released from US citizenship is another question but he has got a certificate and we cannot challenge this in our courts. Only US and Gota know the truth.
    Mahinda Rajapakse is not a fool. He is a game player and he can go to any extreme for power
    MR played his game plan by dividing Sirisena (SLFP) and UNP. Sirisena is now nowhere to go and finally joined them to save his life. Recent IS attack on Christians would have gave him additional Sinhala votes. Recent bomb threat announcement by Malcom Ranjith give another boost to his votes.
    Whether it is good or bad to this country and people it is good for Mahinda Family and his supporters including leftists like Vasudeva and Kauna Amman.

  • 12
    3

    Wait a minute. Gota’s dual citizenship (ill gotten or otherwise) is ok. But can a dual citizen contest as President of our country?

    • 1
      0

      Yes paddy,
      If paddy can be stored at an international airport under Yahapalanaya why cannot someone do what you have suggested?
      Yahapalana leaders removed the obstacles (airplanes on the tarmac and in hangars) brought lorry loads of paddy and completed the hate project.
      A dual citizen can remove the obstacles (dual citizenship), make a fresh application to become a citizen of his native country and complete the job.
      That’s the way to get things done! And the judiciary has unanimously approved it. The only difference is that if it is a hate project it will definitely backfire and if it is a good project it will have wholesome returns!

  • 11
    2

    Dr. Laksiri Fernando: You reproduced your “Dual Citizenship” Certificate. Fine. Why you did not state the “Procedure” to be followed starting from the 1st step of “Application”, such as the “Documents” to be attached (e.g. Police Clearance from your resident area of the country you are living etc}; the submission of your “Original” Birth Certificate; The certified copies of your Educational Qualifications and the remittance of the required fees? Am I wrong in telling you that if those vital “Information” were not sent along with your application, that “Application” cannot be accepted and returned? Now how do we “Verify” the “Authenticity” of the application without the “FILE” containing those documents? All “Authorities” who are supposed to be having that “FILE” told the courts that they “DO NOT” have any file. Gota’s Lawyer, confronted that argument saying: “The “FILE” would have been destroyed while “Digitalizing” . The “Authorities” replied and confirmed, NO DESTRUCTION of any file has been done, in the process of digitalizing. Next, why you did not draw attention to the “Controversy” relating to the “NO. OF THE CERTIFICATE” That Number relates to a “Different” name; but the “Number with a “A” has been named to Gotabaya. Did your certificate carry such an “interpolation of A or B? All these don’t prove to you that there had been a “Wish Wash” or a “Deliberate” “MISUSE” of powers in granting this “Dual Citizenship”. Shouldn’t Courts have addressed those “ISSUES” in determining the case. Wouldn’t that be the case if a “Simple Simon” made this application and came before the very courts to face a challenge. Still the details of the “Judgement” are not out. I rest till then. But please respond to me. Thanks.

    • 7
      6

      Douglas,
      In my case I fulfilled all the requirements from Australia. File no. is there in the document. Of course in the case of GR, I doubt those were fulfilled. However the legality of the citizenship would not depend on the procedure. Those could have been raised during the campaign. But going to courts on those matters at the last moment at best is a misadventure. Of course there are so many procedure problems which I have highlighted under all administrations. I have never asked for special treatment from authorities. On the other hand, I was discriminated or denied benefits since I have always been critical (reasonably) of many authorities. For example, I was denied of Presidential grant for heart surgery in December 2008 by MR on the pretext that my application was late (by one week!). Lalith Weeratunga sent me a letter to that effect. My bill was around Rs. 700,000. My wife lost pension as a teacher in a bureaucratic bungle. We appealed to the public service commission. They said it is beyond their purview indicating we can go to the Minister. Minister was Wiswa Warnapala, a former colleague of mine and (a friend) at that time. I didn’t go to him. He even didn’t know. I am not saying I am a puritan. But living in Canada, Switzerland and then in Australia, we have got used to the rule of law. That may also be in my ‘genes’ perhaps. I may make mistakes in my judgements, but not to favor or unnecessarily criticize anyone. I have nothing to lose. Sorry for the long story whether you believe it or not.

  • 3
    5

    Actually details of relevant documents officially submitted in this case shined the light to the public, creditors, investors as well as donors on how the rule of law is being long practiced in SL.

    You wrote before that some of the best minds trained you in your early career. I wonder who trained your trainers!

    They should be very proud of you when realize that your generous contribution to make Nandasena PSD to become Dr Nandasena to your Excellency Nandasena!

  • 5
    1

    Dr. Laksiri. Thanks. I raised some “ISSUES” pertaining to the application for “Dual Citizenship” It in no way relates to your application or some one else. Neither, I wanted to let you spell out various ordeals your were subjected. This particular application of Gotabaya Rajapakse, was concerning his “Dual Citizenship” and please remember NOT in relation to obtaining FULL PLEDGED “CITIZENSHIP” as a Sri Lankan that has to be obtained after “SURRENDERING” his US Citizenship. These are two separate matters. Your question: “Why raised this “Issue” (Dual Citizenship) at this time without raising at campaign level”? What do you think the PROPER FORUM is? Is it to sling mud on suspected facts at campaigns or raise it at Judiciary levels? I believe, this was raised at the most appropriate forum at the most “Opportune” time, i.e. before Nomination Day. In terms of the Courts verdict, even Gota has got “comfort”; but still the “Doors” are not closed. This “Dual Citizenship” does not allow him to contest; but full pledged Sri Lanka citizenship obtained having surrendered the US citizenship is that matters most. All my concerns were in relation to this Appeal Court decision, which I am of opinion, that was not made after “Examination” of the “Application Process”. Where is the “Application”; the “Relevant Documents” as attachments; “the Fees payment proof” etc. If the Courts do not have those or make an attempt to find those, on what basis it could justify the “Decision” of the “Approving Authority”? I would still urge you to tell me what “Documents” and “Details” you were required to submit with the application to obtain that “Dual Citizenship Certificate”? Also remember to educate me on that “Discrepancy” in the “Number” of Gotabaya Rajapakse’s Certificate., that I raised. Thank you

  • 0
    0

    Can anybody tell me after been a Dual Citizen then renouncing your foreign citizenship. What is the process of acquiring your Srilankan citizenship?

  • 0
    0

    Article 15 of the universal declaration of human rights is very clear on the status of ones citizenship. A person cannot be stateless. Professor Laksiri Fernando has very clearly explained the role played by two activists and the verdict given by the Appeal Court. If they wish they can go before the Supreme Court for further deliberation without crying foul.
    When GR was invited to head the defense system and formulate a unified action plan no one questioned his status-quo. Why now? let the people decided whether he is suitable for Presidency. The Yahapalana cabal wasted four and half years without catching the wrongdoers, which they promised as a mandate. Instead they got in the act of plundering and SP never uttered a word about the wrongdoings of his colleagues. Now its facing reality of politics. Sad but true

  • 6
    0

    Laksri:
    [edited out]
    1) Instead of politically campaigning against, and explaining to the people, the possible dangers of the return of the ‘Rajapaksa family rule,’ two civil society activists opted to challenge the citizenship of the SLPP candidate, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, at the Appeal Court at the last moment, without allowing those matters to be settled at the Independent Election Commission on the nominations day, if there were any doubts.

    *** As I have commented the decison by the Court of Appeal was a POLITICAL decision and not a JUDICIAL one based on their reasoning. The Judges heard evidence for three days and invited Submissions wasting Court Time and Resources and decided not toconsiderany of the above. There is no precedence for the above here in the UK. As you seem to thonk the roght course on action was to seek te mandste of the people not the Judiciary the Judges no dounbt driven by their Allegiance decided in favour of a CRIMINAL.

    2) This infantile misadventure is quite unfortunate and unnecessary in respect of democracy, democratic elections, civil society role in the political system. The fallout unfortunately might disadvantage the forces against GR candidacy and strengthen the SLPP constituency, at least in the immediate context..

    *** Your theory ( I dont know how you got your PhD ) of going to an electorate which is Racist to decide on a man who himself is a born Racist is against the norms of Democracy. There is no doubt he obtained the Dual Citizenship before the Law was changed to allow Dual Nationality for ordinary pwoplw ( all of them Tamil) through the back door because his brother was in power speaks volumes about rule of Law.
    I totally disagree that this was a matter for the Electorate. SAD foretase of things to come

  • 8
    0

    Laksri

    You seem to muddy the water because of your admiration for the Rajapaksas. Your argument against the Civil Society going to the Court of appeal is bizzare. for the following reasons.

    1) Here in the UK if a Citizenship is obtained Fraudulently ( as in Gothas case) it is for the Home Office to strip him/her of that Entitlement..In Sri Lanka that is not a viable option because of the Corrupt Nature and political influence as we have seen If that person decided to become a Prime Minister you dont say let the Party select him and then let the people of Britain decide as you seem to suggest .
    That will mean there is no rule of law and one rule for one and one rule for another.

    2) The powers of the Election Commission are limited and are as follows

    “What is the power of election commission?
    It set limits on poll expenses. The commission is responsible for maintenance of the electoral rolls and establishing the schedules of elections. The commission is empowered with prohibiting dissemination or publication of voting trends that seek to influence voters by opinion polls or exit polls”

    The Civil Society tried to get to the bottom of how Gotha got his Citizenship before the rules changed but they hit a brick. Every document was destroyed to cover up. They were then left with no choice but to prevent a man from breaking the rules not only as to his entitlement but also his suitabilty. to become a president by going to Court.. That was the right thing to do.and you cant argue your way out of this. Are you saying ” Let a CRIMINAL ” stand for eletion to become a President and let the people decide.. Can you tell me whether you will advise the Ausralians likewise

    You are an educated man and dont let your love for the Rajapaksa cloud your Judgment.

  • 6
    0

    What I want to know is how this pseudo- professor felt while swearing allegiance to the Queen and why he thinks his opinion should count for anything in this country he renounced and left at the first opportunity? It’s funny how Sri Lankans become big “nationalists” as soon as they go abroad to live under whitey and swear true faith and allegiance to the same. This social sickness and entitled attitude among slimy dual “citizens” is why this country is a shithole.

  • 6
    0

    Not so fast Laksiri. Misadventure, may be yes, but unnecessary ?????. Unless you too think the same as me that “Lankan constitution not even worth the paper it is written , but good enough to wipe ???”. First of all it is Gotha and rest of Rajapaksas who created the confusion by giving contradictory statements and producing evidences.If it was not that serious why would MR nominate Chamal as proxy.( in his own words). and Gotha dashing to US against all odds. Lanka is a country where a president staged a constitutional coup against his own government. So you a Prof trying to trivialize this issues is absurd. Right now we see Trump doing the same (requesting foreigners to influence elections) and trying to make it look casual. But US is not a failed state like Lanka, where people take any shit by their stride. This is what is called “checks and balances” of a constitution. If not Trump will be actually doing what ever he may wish like “shooting some one in daylight, in middle of NYC”,(Gotha did plenty)requesting foreigners to influence elections,(Rajapaksas are getting Chinese to finance campaign) hacking elections, making illegal deals with foreigners.(illegal weapon deals, Ukraine deal), going after whistle blowers, Trump just threatened , I hear the duo who filed case against Gotha has now received death threats (murdering Lasantha). The difference is , Trump is either boasting or threatening where as Gotha has already committed these acts. So like the rest, do not try wishy-washing with your titles. If citizenship is not an issues, why not request Su. Swamy to stand for elections. He is more of a Lankan and SLPP member (unofficial) than Indian BJP mouth piece.

  • 3
    0

    Modearator

    What is the matter with you. There was nothing to edit out as I started with what you posted

  • 4
    2

    The essential point about GR’s dual citizenship is not whether the formalities for renouncing his US citizenship/grant of dual citizenship were correctly followed. In the context of GR contesting the Presidential Election what the electorate has to consider is how a man who saw fit to give up his SL citizenship and sought US citizenship, suddenly discovered after his brother became President, that being a SL citizen was actually worth his while. In other words, what the electorate has to question is GR’s real commitment to the country of his birth. Is SL citizenship for him simply a matter of convenience and expediency? How genuine is his patriotism? That is the real question, something which sadly Dr Laksiri seems to have failed to grasp.

    • 6
      0

      Fred:

      You are no different to Laksri and I take it you are following in his footsetps Let me rearrange your argument and break down your argument into its components.
      You say
      2) What the electorate has to consider is how a man who saw fit to give up his SL citizenship and sought US citizenship, suddenly discovered after his brother became President, that being a SL citizen was actually worth his while. In other words, what the electorate has to question is GR’s real commitment to the country of his birth. Is SL citizenship for him simply a matter of convenience and expediency? How genuine is his patriotism? That is the real question, something which sadly Dr Laksiri seems to have failed to grasp.

      *** I agree with you that he has to prove commitment to his country and in that he has failed. But what you are omplying i has he not abandoned his country but carried out other activities which are outside the law it may not matter.

      I disagree with you and that is what you are saying below.
      1) The essential point about GR’s dual citizenship is not whether the formalities for renouncing his US citizenship/grant of dual citizenship were correctly followed. In the context of GR contesting the Presidential Election.

      *** The bottom line is he reclaimed SL Citizenship outside of the Law using his brothers power and position and he is not above the Law. and if he wants to be a Leader he should have followed proper procedures like everyone else. I couldnt have enojoyed that privilege. and may be because I am Tamil
      You are wrong my friend

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        Point taken, but I have no intention of following Laksiri!

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    The judiciary in SL has always been subjected to influence from leading politicians, perhaps from the time of Junius and Sirimavo etc. It has become progressively worse with judges facing death threats and petitioners having to leave the country when their opponent(s) are influential politicians or members of a ruling family etc. Although there seem to be “independent” judicial services commissions and the like, I highly doubt if proper administrative or legal procedures are adopted by state authorities with no regard for social standing or affiliation to seats of power of the person involved.

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      Professor L P makes valid points here.

      I know of numbers of times when applications have been okayed on a nod and a wink by the right person. Citizenship by birthright is a cardinal human right that cannot be denied to a citizen. For the state to use it to generate income is a travesty.

      A close friend of mine who lived in Canada and took Canadian citizenship decided to return to SL after turning 70, and after settling down in a very nice place outside Colombo threw away his Canadian passport and the local grama seveka issued him a NI card, and he continued to live happily for 15 years before peacefully passing away. He now resides in Kanatte where all are equal regardless. RIP.

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        The process for claiming that right is different to asking for dual citizenship. Just because your friend did something unlawful and did not get caught does not make it right.

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    Why have a law on this ? It is better to permit the Visa Officer at the Artival Counter at the Air Port to grant the dual citizenship to anyone visiting Sri Lanka for a fee of US$ 1,000. After all with what has happened there is hardly any difference between Visa Officer and the President Sri Lanka.. What is the purpose of Executive President approving the dual citizenship in a hurry ? At least the visa officer can be charged in a Court of Law for any abuse of power devolved..where as the President hides behind the immunity… Laksiri can then justify the Visa Officer’s action..

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      The answer to this is ask the people as to who should be given visa.

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    This rule as I am aware was introduced to keep Gota away by the Yahapalanaya Govt. I think that it is a good rule. Canada is facing the same issue at this very moment. There is no doubt that Gota loves the country and is a solid candidate, but, the fact that he left SL and obtained US citizenship is a black mark on him. So is MR’s other brother in Texas.
    One should not accuse the petitioners for filing the objection. That is their democratic right. Hope that they would be safe should Gota become the president. Incidentally, did Gota pay the fee that all us to pay to obtain his dual citizenship? Why did not he surrender his US citizenship when he was the secretary of defense? Wanted to cut the losses and run if the going got tough?

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