Written by Staff Writer
12 Nov, 2019 | 8:13 pm
COLOMBO(News 1st) – Today marks Day Three of the fast launched by Venerable Inguruwatte Sumangala Thero demanding SLPP Presidential Candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa prove his citizenship status. The Thero is currently supported by a number of youth activists including Former-Convenor of the Inter-University Student’s Federation Mahil Bandara.
Ven. Dr. Inguruwatte Sumangala Thero:
“I decided not to consume anything after 12 noon yesterday. In the meantime, we questioned about Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s citizenship. However, we have not received any answers as to whether he is a US citizen or not.
If he is not a citizen of this country, and if he is a citizen of the US, he is misleading his voters and the citizens of this country. If he plans to be a clean leader in the future, he must prove that he is no longer a US citizen, personally or through the US embassy. He must prove with documents to us that he renounced his US citizenship, and is now a citizen of Sri Lanka.”
Meanwhile, an individual in a mask visited the location of the fast and requested Dr. Inguruwatte Sumangala Thero to call off the fast. When he was demanded to remove his mask by a police officer at the scene, he had left the scene.
Meanwhile, the convener of the National Peoples Council Chameera Perera visited Independence square today to meet and inquire into the welfare of Inguruwatte Sumangala Thero. The youth organization towards democracy also visited Independence square this evening, concluding a walk that was launched from Dondra.
Minister Rajitha Senarathne also visited the thero at independence square this evening.
MR reacts to the fast
Meanwhile, the leader of the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna Mahinda Rajapaksa speaking to journalists after paying homage to the Sacred Tooth Relic stated that in order for Sri Lanka to move forward, the current government should be defeated. He stated that if it is not defeated Sri Lanka would end up as a colony of another foreign nation.
He added that they would look into these matters when they come into power and Ven. Inguruwatte Sumangala Thero has been deceived. He went on to note that they would consider about Ranil Wickremesinghe remaining in power as the PM until April when they come to that.
Mahinda Rajapaksa finally added that he is still an MP representing SLFP and he did not leave the SLFP. He added that they were distanced from their party and assumed the leadership of another party. He added that however, they are committed to protecting SLFP supporters.
Politicians comment on GR citizenship
Meanwhile, multiple opinions over the citizenship of Gotabaya Rajapaksa was shared in the political arena. Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s faction claims that all documents in this regard were submitted to the National Election Commission.
Wimal Weerawansa, leader of the National Freedom Front:
“There are claims that even if Gotabaya Rajapaksa wins the presidential election, he cannot be the president. They filed a case in courts which proved to be nothing but futile. Even the courts have accepted the fact that Gotabaya Rajapaksa is qualified to be a presidential candidate.
When they foresee defeat, they start to sling mud at their opponents. They are trying to influence the general public that there is no point in voting for Gotabaya Rajapaksa as he cannot take oaths as the future president.
If Gotabaya Rajapaksa is not qualified to be the president, they should have opposed him the day we submitted nominations. But there was no opposition. They foresee the victory of Gotabaya Rajapaksa, and this is why they are slinging mud at us.”
UPFA MP Susil Premajayantha:
“The United National Front has allocated this week to confuse the general public. They have now dragged Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s citizenship into the scene. Gotabaya Rajapaksa renounced his US Citizenship in April. All relevant documents were submitted to the election commissioner.”
Meanwhile, convening a media briefing on behalf of Gotabaya Rajapaksa last Sunday, President’s counsel Ali Sabry also said that the relevant documents were handed over to the National Election Commission.
However, Mahinda Deshapriya, Chairman of the National Election Commission denied these claims.
“The NEC only looks at the matters which disqualify a person from contesting. The NEC didn’t request for documentation or even pay attention to whether the candidates were imprisoned, or had engaged in contractual agreements with the government or whether there was an issue with their citizenship.
The commission only looks at one key feature, which is the signature of the candidate confirming that he qualifies and agrees to contest. We only consider the factors. The National Elections Commission cannot raise objections.
If someone raises an objection, the NEC can look into the matter. No documents were officially sought by them and the NEC cannot make any statement to promote or demote any candidate. One might think the NEC is trying to escape this matter. But we would like to say, it was best if the NEC was not pulled into the picture yesterday(November 11).
Minister of Finance Mangala Samaraweera also weighed in on the matter stating that the Passport of Gotabaya Rajapaksa which was shown during the media briefing is yet to be cancelled.
“This itself proves that this is not an original certificate. The entire country has already accepted this. Now president’s counsel Ali Sabry convened a media briefing on behalf of Gotabaya Rajapaksa and revealed this is a fake passport.
That’s not all. He told the entire country that all the relevant documents were handed over to the election commissioner. I addressed a letter to the election commissioner requesting these documents under the right to information act.
Yesterday, I saw the election commissioner said that he did not receive such documents. This is a major issue. This is not a problem related to victory or defeat. If we allow anyone to contest an election, without considering their citizenship, in the future anyone who submits their nominations will be able to contest.
Those who are voting for Gotabaya Rajapaksa must consider these facts prior to casting their vote.”
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