The Court of Appeal today dismissed a petition filed over the citizenship of former Defence Secretary and Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna Presidential (SLPP) candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa.
The case, which was heard over three days ended today with a three-judge bench delivering a unilateral decision dismissing the case.
President’s Counsel Ali Sabry said that the court found there were no grounds under which to prevent Gotabaya Rajapaksa from contesting the Presidential election.
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.
The 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 said a non-citizen trying to become president of Sri Lanka poses a grave threat to national security and the territorial integrity of the republic.