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There is hardly any convincing evidence that Gotabhaya has relinquished US citizenship ….. Upul Jayasuriya

Upul Jayasuriya

Former President of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka President's Counsel Upul Jayasuriya has observed that there is no convincing evidence that Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, the Presidential Candidate of the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) had relinquished his US citizenship.

He made this observation speaking at a press conference held in Colombo on Monday. M.C. Jayarathna PC, Thisath Wijegunawardena PC and Farman Cassim PC were also present. He was responding to claims made by Legal Advisor to Gotabhaya Rajapaksa President's Counsel Ali Sabry at a press conference regarding the withdrawal of Gotabhaya’s US citizenship.

Addressing the media, Upul Jayasuriya said:

“There are problems with the authenticity of the documents presented regarding the abolition of Gotabhaya’s citizenship. Although documents were presented to the Election Commission regarding the abolition of citizenship when submitting nominations, the actual documents have not been handed over to the Election Commission. There were fraudulent marks in the cancelled U.S. passport of Gotabhaya Rajapaksa that was shown to media by PC Ali Sabry yesterday at the media conference.
If Gotabhaya Rajapaksa wins the election while being an American citizen, his presidency can be annulled in the same way former UPFA parliamentarian Geetha Kumarasinghe lost her seat.

If a candidate who is contesting the Presidential Election has a problem about his citizenship, he should submit an affidavit and all relevant the documents to prove his citizenship to the Election Commission at the time of submitting nominations. Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) presidential candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa is responsible for addressing the renunciation of his US citizenship.

The issue regarding Rajapaksa’s citizenship was not taken up by the Election Commission when nomination papers were submitted due to the fact that citizenship was not one of the five issues over which the commissioner could reject a nomination paper.

We also learnt that arrangements were being made to present former Speaker of Parliament Chamal Rajapaksa as an alternative candidate if the judgment did not work in their favour. We are curious to know why they took such steps to have an alternative candidate when they were sure the candidate was 100% qualified to contest the Presidential Election.”


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