- Reiterates dual citizenship obtained in 2005 and US citizenship renounced in April
Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) presidential candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa yesterday reiterated that he had obtain dual citizenship in 2005, soon after Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa was elected President, but he had renounced his US citizenship in April this year.
Speaking at an event held in Colombo, Rajapaksa said he had followed the relevant procedure and obtained his dual citizenship in 2005 in accordance with the law.
“Soon after Mahinda Rajapaksa was elected the President, he invited me to work as the Defence Secretary. As I accepted the invitation, I obtained dual citizenship before starting work as the Defence Secretary,” Rajapaksa said.
Rajapaksa argued that he had no reason to obtain any forged dual citizenship certificate when his brother was the President and the relevant ministries were under his portfolio. He noted the matter related to dual citizenship was a 15-year-old issue and in his view it was a baseless and irrelevant accusation.
“Mahinda Rajapaksa told me to renounce my US citizenship as I might have to contest an election. I have successfully renounced my US citizenship in April following my brother’s request. Now I only hold Sri Lankan citizenship.”
Rajapaksa noted that he had obtained a Sri Lankan passport and National Identity Card (NIC) in 2016. He pointed out that he had obtained his passport and NIC under the incumbent government.
“I view this as an attempt to block me from contesting the upcoming presidential election. But it is unfortunate that those who pledged to protect democratic rights are attempting to block me from contesting the presidential polls.”
He said he could prove his innocence and believed that the Judiciary would determine his innocence.