Notice served on Gotabaya over citizenship

Notice has been served on former Defence Secretary and Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) presidential candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa in a case filed by two civil activists over his Sri Lankan citizenship, The Sunday Morning newspaper reported.

Rajapaksa was accused of violating the Citizenship Act, the Immigrants and Emigrants Act, and the Elections Act by engaging in political activities back during the 2005 presidential election while holding US citizenship.

Activists, Prof. Chandraguptha Thenuwara and Gamini Viyangoda had filed the case in the Court of Appeal.

Viyangoda said a writ application had been filed in court stating that Rajapaksa is not a Sri Lankan citizen as his citizenship certificate is forged and invalid.

The writ says the citizenship certificate is not in the format prescribed by the regulations while two people have the same certificate number. Furthermore, there was no secretary to the ministry at the time (21 Nov 2005) and an unknown person had signed as Secretary.

The writ also said that Rajapaksa was trying to contest the upcoming presidential election and as a non-citizen if he is allowed to do so, it will disenfranchise all the SLPP voters who have the right to vote for a Sri Lankan citizen who is able to legally take the oath of office.

The writ says a non-citizen trying to become president of Sri Lanka poses a grave threat to national security and the territorial integrity of the republic.

When contacted by The Sunday Morning, Rajapaksa’s spokesman MP Keheliya Rambukwella said that he was aware of the writ being filed on Friday but was uncertain if notice had been served.

Co-spokesperson MP Dullas Alahapperuma also said he was aware of the case being filed yesterday, but was unaware of notice being issued to Rajapaksa.

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