I’m a Sri Lankan citizen: Gota reiterates

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SLPP Presidential candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa, against whom a case was filed disputing his citizenship, yesterday reiterated that he is a Sri Lankan citizen as his US citizenship was revoked in April this year.

He made these remarks at the Desha Vimukthi Janatha Pakshaya’s Special Convention which was held at the New Town Hall in Colombo yesterday.

He said his US citizenship was revoked following a request made by former president and Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa to get ready to contest the upcoming presidential election.

“Just as I accepted the post of defence secretary on his request in 2005 and obtained dual citizenship, I revoked the US citizenship in April this year. According to international standards, if someone’s citizenship is being revoked, that country should ascertain that the person has the citizenship of another country. If not he or she will become a stateless person which is inhumane,” Mr. Rajapaksa said.

He said many asked from him recently whether his dual citizenship was a false document as alleged by some politicians and NGOs.

“I applied for dual citizenship in 2005 and the president-elect and subject minister Mahinda Rajapaksa gave the dual citizenship certificate to me. How has the dual citizenship which was applicable to defeat terrorism become a false document after 15 years? If I had completed all requirements and if my president was the brother, why would I get false documents?” he asked.

He said he legally obtained a passport and a national identity card following due procedures by paying the relevant fees under the tenure of this government.

“The people who are preaching democracy are afraid of the democratic choice of the people and trying other means to prevent it. As someone who has faith in the judiciary, I believe the court will make an accurate decision,” Mr.Rajapaksa said.