20 March, 2023


Gota’s Name Missing From US Federal List Renouncing US Citizenship Bar To Contest Elections?

Professionals and civil society activists have raised concerns about Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) Presidential candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa with his name failing to appear in the list of persons that have renounced their US citizenship, in the ‘Federal list’ valid as at 30 June, published on Thursday (15).


The documents published, which is similar to our Gazette notification, on a quarterly basis is mainly for tax purposes. The list issued in the first quarter for the year 2019 also did not carry the presidential hopeful’s name.

Constitutional lawyer Dr. Asanga Welikala, took to Twitter following the news stating “If Gotabaya Rajapaksa hasn’t fulfilled the legal requirements for election as President at the point of nomination – as there are serious questions – then regardless of party loyalties we must be able to agree that he cannot and must not be allowed to stand. Basic Legality”.

When Rajapaksa returned to the country concluding his last visit to the US, he said that steps had been taken to renounce his US citizenship during the visit. During this same period, he was also served summons of a legal action pursued the slain editor Lasantha Wickrematunge’s daughter Ahimsa claiming damages for being responsible for her father’s murder, while Rajapaksa was the Defence Secretary.

Soon after arriving in the country he again left for Singapore, in May this year, to obtain medical treatment. It is now revealed that Rajapaksa was issued a new local passport which he used for this trip. Civil Society activists Gamini Viyangoda and Chandraguptha Thenuwara has lodged a complaint with the police headquarters questioning how a US citizen has issued a Passport without him officially renouncing his US citizenship.

It has been also indicated that the new passport was issued with the assist of the Prime Minister and his top officials.

Minister Harsha de Silva too posted on twitter stating “Mr @GotabayaR’s name is not in the list of US citizens who had lost their citizenship as at 30 June 2019. Then how did he obtain Sri Lanka only citizenship in May 2019?”

In response SLPP Parliamentarian Namal Rajapaksa had stated that the minister should not be worrying about the SLPP candidate and if his documentation is in issue they will present if necessary. He further went on to say in his tweet that the Minister should rather be worrying about how to govern the country for the next few months to salvage it from its sorry state and also as to who can they put into the race.

Concerns are raised over the fact that even if Rajapaksa’s name makes it to the next list which is scheduled to come out only in mid-October, if it will be too late for him to be eligible to contest the elections.

The Elections Commission has previously stated, that if there are any concerns about a candidate’s citizenship anyone can petition the Supreme Court and that the Elections Commission can request that such determination is made within 14 days.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Latest comments

  • 9


    “Concerns are raised over the fact that even if Rajapaksa’s name makes it to the next list which is scheduled to come out only in mid-October, if it will be too late for him to be eligible to contest the elections.”

    Prez MS must be dreaming that he still has a chance as a Common SLPP-SLFP Candidate, come mid-October!

  • 19

    Rumor is GR is flying back to U.S.A ASAP, to try fixing the problem at the other end (not so easy buddy, this is not Lanka to forge national ID and a passport overnight). Question is which passport will he produce at the immigration ???US passport or the new Lankan (forged) passport. I am sure it will be the US passport so that he has free entry. If he produces forged Lankan passport he will be taken on a free ride to nearest detention centers (I hear Trump is very tough on illegal immigrants). Also he will need a visa to travel to US on his new Lankan passport. Do anyone actually believe he got one ???? That too a US visa ????? (when there is criminal cases filled against him). One thing is for sure. The whole story on giving up US citizenship is a F- – – – G lie. Typical shit taken out of Rajapaksas play book.

    • 19

      Giving up his US citizenship is not a major issue because he can get it back through his wife who is a US citizen, or through his son who too is a US citizen. None of his family members are going to renounce US citizenship. It will take only 3 months. He has to spend less than $2000. It is nothing for him with the money looted from Sri Lanka.

  • 15

    Listen up folks!

    This is Sri Lanka where anything can, and will happen. As long as the sycophantic goats that roam our land bow in abeyance to their political gods, you can get away with anything. If Gota has a problem with his nomination, there will a rash of grease yakka’s for his cause. And the Maha Sangha will order (has already) their flock to support his nomination regardless of any ‘constitutional difficulty’. After all this is the beloved brother of the Great Liberator. Gota is the Great Enforcer. He is the one who by self-proclamation will make Sri Lanka Great Again!

  • 9

    Power and Money talks in Sri Lanka That is the culture Brother Mahinda has enough wealth to save his brother Gita from the citizenship crisis. Unfortunately, he can not brine UD officials. The other option os Gota may strike a deal with the US in agreeing to SOFA agreement In which case Fool Trump may help him Politicians whether from UNP or SLFP or SLPP they help each other in violating the law. It s like I will cratch your back and yu too scratch my back. So Ranil is adopting this tactic

  • 0

    Comment by agone69…..
    Well, said that ” USA can get what they wanted” This is not true?
    Why is that year 2018 spiral killed of USA citizens of by domestic GUN MEN has exceed 400,00 innocent lives of citizens of that country . …U>>S>> A>> ? $$$.
    Up to now more than 8000 citizens has been killed by unknown GUN MEN in USA ?
    Are these point of gunmen looking forward for the of system of Democracy governance by champion of USA leadership? Nor that not only that locally or it has extended to US, that Globally Governance ?
    In appearances USA is STRONG. While in an essence that system of USA that
    so-called ‘Democracy’ that complementary criminalize their own of citizens by of ruling classes who RULE and RUIN by President system of governance …. by that in USA .
    Needless to say several years back USA was champion of’ Democracy’ to certain extended . Those past days has dead gone for ever!
    Since 9/11 USA lost its credibility and credential IMPOSSIBLE PRORATED his OWN LAND FROM ISLAM TERRORIST ATTACK!
    How can bring peace and stability to Globe by leadership of USA ?

  • 10

    Did not the three election commissioners find out from the US government already if Gotabaya has renounced his US citizenship or not?

    Are they waiting for someone to petition? It is their duty to find it out for each presidential candidate. Did they not hunt Gita K. for it?

    • 2

      If the Commission does it, that will seem prejudiced action.
      they have no right to any such thing without cause.
      Also they should check on every candidate after nominations are files. Also will it be only the US?
      What could be required from all candidates is a declaration as a legally binding document that will automatically disqualify them if elected and subject them to further punishment like prosecution in the SC.

  • 0

    Very clear that it is only the usa that can revoke us citizenship, not gotler. Submitting application to renounce usa cituzenship by gotler is ONLY that, gotler will continue to be a usa citizen until such time the usa OFFICIALLY announces it. This process can take years in gotlers case as there are so many cases in the usa courts for murder, torture, abductions, tax evasion and corrupt practices. Another blatant attempt by this scoundrel to disregard the laws and decency.

  • 3

    Why is everyone wasting their time discussing a non issue re revocation of citizenship? The state department website very clearly lays down what needs to be done for a US citizen to renounce citizenship. It also very clearly states that once citizenship is renounced it cannot be revoked and you will be stateless if you do not have citizenship in another country. If you are stateless after renouncing, then you are not a citizen of US after renunciation. The question is: did Gota follow the procedure prescribed by the US state department in order to renounce his citizenship? If he had he is not a US citizen anymore, if he has not then he is a US citizen. There is no reference to the name being published in any list for a US Citizen to renounce citizenship! Why is everyone looking for a list? the list must be an administrative requirement and not legal requirement of renunciation.
    Check out this link:


    • 0

      The list is the confirmation that the renunciation is accepted , approved and a certificate of renunciation duly.awarded There are instances when the renunciation can be withheld or delayed if the US government has reason to withhold it if there are criminal or any other legal issues. The question is is there sufficient time for the candidacy filing in SL. Then again in the SL system rife with illegality, fraud and laws broken by political influence, money and thuggery, it will not be a surprise if he runs and wins the presidency. Welcome back white vans and thuggery,! This is the chance of a life time for the voters to make an educated choice. If they get blindsided by the opulence of the
      Olivia last drama, then no one can sympathize for the disaster they bring upon themselves.

  • 1

    This is inaccurate! Basically, the quarterly citizenship renouncement list isn’t that swift as some people desperately want it to be, nor it has ever been. When my relative renounced, it took more than a year for his name to appear on that list. Regardless, it will not affect GOTA’s candidacy as long as his legal documentation is capable of presenting evidence for the claim. Further, it is possible to be verified with the US state department at request. A similar incident occurred with Milinda Moragoda in the past. Likewise, this literally has no effect on GR is Prez run.

    • 0

      Perhaps the US state department, and the srilanka election commissioner will be the judge of that. BTW did your relative ever run for the presidency.of SL? The federal register is like the gazette publication, once the US state department has accepted and approved the renunciation request.

  • 0

    “Federal Register could often be months behind the recording of one’s renunciation of citizenship” – US ambassador

  • 0

    Gota has to present the cancellation of US citizenship document to commission of elections. Others do not have to worry about that.

Leave A Comment

Comments should not exceed 200 words. Embedding external links and writing in capital letters are discouraged. Commenting is automatically disabled after 5 days and approval may take up to 24 hours. Please read our Comments Policy for further details. Your email address will not be published.