Written by Staff Writer
30 Sep, 2019 | 8:39 pm
COLOMBO (News 1st) – The Court of Appeal ordered to submit information on the NIC and passport obtained by SLPP Presidential Election Candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa.
The Court of Appeal issued the order to the Minister and Secretary of Home Affairs, Controller General of Immigration and the Commissioner-General for the Registration of Persons to immediately submit to court information on the NIC and passport obtained by SLPP Presidential Election Candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa.
Counsel appearing for Rajapaksa, presented to the court a dossier containing information on their client’s citizenship, passport and NIC and copies handed over to the Criminal Investigations Department.
The Court of Appeal decided to consider the petition filed seeking a stay order on accepting Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s Sri Lankan Citizenship, at 9:30 am on October 2nd.
The petition was filed by Gamini Viyangoda and Professor Chandragupta Thenuwara.
The petition was called up in the presence of Appeal Court President, Justice Yasantha Kodagoda and Justice Arjuna Obeysekera.
The respondents named in the petition are :
The Controller General of Immigration and Emigration Commissioner of the Department for Registration of Persons, Secretary to the Ministry of Home Affairs, Minister Vajira Abeywardena, Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa, SLPP Presidential Election Candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Acting Inspector General of Police and Director of the Criminal Investigations Department.
The petition states, based on the facts presented by Gotabaya Rajapaksa on renouncing his US citizenship, a Sri Lankan passport and NIC were issued, however, the documents to prove he is a Sri Lankan citizen cannot be traced.
The petition further noted, the Controller General of Immigration and Emigration and the Department for Registration of Persons issued a Sri Lankan passport and Sri Lankan NIC solely based on the facts presented on renouncing the US citizenship and claim it is an illegal move.
The petitioners requested for order be issued to prevent Gotabaya Rajapaksa being accepted as a Sri Lankan citizen and further to issue an interim injunction from activating the NIC and passport issued to him until the petition is taken up for examination and order is delivered.
Several people shared their thoughts on the matter.
Professor Chandraguptha Thenuwara of the National Movement for a Just Society questioned whether a foreigner could become the president of the country? He noted that the Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s renouncement of US citizenship remains confusing.
He added that if a foreigner is appointed as the president of the country, it could be a clear violation of the constitution.
UPFA MP Udaya Gammanpila presented a certificate and noted that it was the dual citizenship certificate that proves that he obtained Sri Lankan citizenship in 2015 which bore the signatures of an additional secretary of the ministry and the reigning president Mahinda Rajapaksa.
He went on to note that this was the certificate that UNP should look for and it has been approved on May 3rd, 2019. He insisted that Gotabaya Rajapaksa is not a citizen of the US.
Venerable Dambara Amila Thero, National Movement for a Just Society stated that if Gotabaya had not presented fraudulent documents he indeed has used them in an illegal manner. He added that Gotabaya Rajapaksa had two ID cards in his possession and he had used an invalid ID card to run for the election.
He went on to say that the CID has probed into the matter and compiled a report for the court named B-Report. The Thero added that he does not pull someone from behind but he believes that the office of president is supreme and a person with a valid ID and a passport should get elected.
Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Presidential Candidate of the SLPP himself attempted to clarify this matter at an event.
He noted that he applied for dual citizenship when he was asked to take the Portfolio of the Defence Ministry by then President, Mahinda Rajapaksa in 2005. He added the Mahinda Rajapaksa the subject minister at the time handed him the dual citizenship he had obtained.
He further added that at the time there was no reason for him to forge a fraudulent certificate.
He went on to note that later he was requested to contest at the upcoming election and accordingly he took steps to renounce his US citizenship and applied for a passport.
He shared that he was provided with the passport legally by the very same government in power now.
He revealed that he received the ID in 2016 as per his application, which was also given to him by the same government.
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