Colombo Telegraph

I Will Not Give Up My American Citizenship: Basil Rajapaksa

I will not give up my American citizenship, says Basil Rajapaksa.

My children and wife live there, there is nothing to hide about it. I came to politics while keeping my American citizenship, he told BBC Sinhala service.

Criticising the 19th Amendment he said that the sole purpose of the amendment was to block he and his brother Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

On April 28, 2015 the Parliament adopted the 19th Amendment to the constitution. Two hundred and twelve (212) Members of Parliament (MPs) voted for the amendment while only one, MP Sarath Weerasekara voted against it.

The 19th Amendment added a new sub-paragraph to the paragraph “Disqualification for election as Member of Parliament” in the Article 91 of the constitution.

According to the newly introduced 19th amendment to the Constitution, a Sri Lankan Citizen holding citizenship status in another country cannot hold a seat in the legislature.

Among the important features of the Bill are: the reduction in the terms of President and Parliament from six years to five years; re-introduction of a two-term limit that a person can have as President; the power of President to dissolve Parliament only after four and a half years [unlike one year, as prevalent now]; the revival of Constitutional Council and the establishment of independent commissions; right to information as a fundamental right.

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