Although we acknowledge it is illegal for our party Leader to engage in politics, he has no other choice as he was forced to resort to illegal methods to flee the country in order to save his life, Frontline Socialist Party Politburo member Pubudu Jagoda says.
Officials from the Immigration Department had visited the FSP headquarters in Pannipitiya yesterday evening looking for Kumar Gunarathnam to record a statement regarding his political activities in response to a complaint they had received against him. Jagoda says they will be visiting the Immigration Department with Gunaratnam and their lawyers within the next two days to make a statement.
“Kumar is not hiding; he is at his residence in Kegalle. He is a Sri Lankan citizen and has engaged in local politics. The only issue is him using a fake name in his passport to flee the country. We admit certain legal issues prevail with concern to his involvement in politics but the reason that pushed him towards resorting to illegal method to flee the country should be considered before deeming his political activities illegal,” he said.
He said Kumar returned to Sri Lanka to participate in the recently concluded Presidential election campaign under tourist visa after paying the due fine of Rs. 39,130 since he was deported based on grounds of overstaying.
Jagoda says that it is the same legal issue that has discouraged several journalists who are in exile from returning to Sri Lanka despite the Media Minister’s invitation for them to return as they would risk prosecution upon their return.
“So we urge the new government to take action in order to resolve this issue. These people fled the country to save their lives not out of a willingness to engage in illegal activities,” he said.