The proposal brought forward by Anura Kumara Dissanayake concerning individuals with dual citizenships contesting at the elections has been grossly misinterpreted, he says and adds that his proposal never implied that those with dual citizenship does not have a right to engage in politics.
Speaking at a media briefing last week, the JVP Leader said his proposal to the national executive council concerning those with dual citizenship contesting elections did not imply they cannot engage in politics but that if such a person is to contest at a main election, they should give up the citizenship in the other country.
“We have never said they don’t have the right to engage in politics. They can engage in active politics and even be a leader of a party. But if he/ she is planning to contest at a main election, he/she should give up the citizenship in the other country,” he said.
Dissanayake said that laws should be drafted through experiences and added that today, the experience that can be gathered from the amendment made to the law in 2007 that referred to persons holding dual citizenship is that it opens a loophole for such politicians to engage in rampant plundering of public resources.
“The amendment in 2007 declared it unnecessary for a person holding dual citizenship to declare their assets and liabilities prior to contesting an election. That makes it tough to calculate their wealth that would be collected abroad and even tougher to conduct a probe on such a matter. Hence, it opens space for such individuals to escape the law and flee to another country,” he said adding therefore, he believes the proposal he has made to the council is fair.
Dissanayake made two proposals to the national executive council last week; one was concerning persons holding dual citizenship contesting elections and the other was regarding MPs who crossover and the continuation of their parliamentary representation afterwards. His former proposal was misinterpreted and thought of as a move that would withdraw the right of an individual holding dual citizenship to contest elections.