Dual citizenship certificates issued

2015-04-30 17:57:43

One hundred and eighty seven Sri Lankans living in abroad received their dual citizenship certificates today from the Immigration and Emigration Department as a result of the new government’s decision to reintroduce the dual citizenship system.

A ceremony was held at the Department today to issue the first set of certificates online. Public Order Minister John Amaratunga said the department had received about 500 applications requesting for dual citizenship.

“The previous regime suspended the system to issue dual citizenship but it had given 2,000 citizenships to their kith and kin and the cronies through the backdoor.  Today, under the guidance of the prime minister, we have reintroduced the system to give an equal opportunity to everyone,” he said.

The minister charged that the selective approach of the previous regime had deprived people of their rights, and many intellectuals had left Sri Lanka seeking a haven in other countries.

He said the process of issuing the certificates could be slow as it had only begun and that those who applied for dual citizenship would be closely screened by a committee comprising department officials.

“We don’t need drug addicts or smugglers like the one who was executed in Indonesia. In the past, there were incidents where containers of drugs were released on the orders of high officials. In fact, I strongly recommend that the president introduce the electric chair to eradicate the drug menace from the island. The country only needs valuable and helpful people to come in,” he said.

He said no longer would the applicants have to give bribes (santhosam) to the Department employees to get their work done and that the employees were working hard and depending only on their salaries. (Lahiru Pothmulla and Sanath Desmond)

  Comments - 22

  • S.Mahendra Friday, 1 May 2015 01:51

    I wish to point out that the charges levied for obtaining dual-citizenship is rather high, for example in Switzerland:For an Individual: Stamping at Chancellary 2 certificatesChf. 50.00, Police Rpt. 20.00 Civil Registrar 17.00 whichare Govt. assigned fees. The Lankan Consulate chargesChf. 180.00 for Attestation of 3 Swiss Certificates plus afee of Chf.60.00 for taking over the application. Total forone applicant is Chf. 327.00 (Rs.45780/--) A family ofsay 4 will cost them Chf.1308.00 (Rs.183120/-) !!

    Reply : 8       8

    Bala Friday, 1 May 2015 12:40

    The Swiss staff is home based while our embassy staff cost us a lot. But they will not give you citizenship at any cost.

    Reply : 2       0

    halmassa Friday, 1 May 2015 17:16

    These are charges by the Swiss authorities and not by the SL government.

    Reply : 0       2

    Nalin Friday, 1 May 2015 19:23

    I totally agree. Same in Canada. Ottawa High Commission demands CAD$ 40 to attest one document and it’ll cost $600 (Rs.66,000) for four of us. Isn’t that ridiculously high price ?I only paid $25 to attest set of 25 documents by a Canadian Commissioner of Oath here.

    Reply : 0       0

    Rom Friday, 1 May 2015 03:52

    All is good, however the term used to describe bribe is racism!!!!!

    Reply : 11       2

    chimpa Friday, 1 May 2015 08:30

    We appreciate the present Government for reintroducing the dual citizenships. It will be convenient for those applying to know the exact eligibility requirements and to give wide publicity since it is going to help much, for those applying.

    Reply : 1       4

    l perera Friday, 1 May 2015 08:33

    This has been a good move by the Government and the elimination of (santhosams) a welcome change. From an economic point of however, those with potential to add to the countries foreign exchange coffers may keep out or invest less because, the fee exemption previously granted to this category has been taken away. Some sort of incentive to this group may be worth reconsidering.

    Reply : 3       4

    Ranatunge Friday, 1 May 2015 08:38

    This is a welcome decision by the new government and gives equal opportunity to every one living abroad. It is sad to learn that previous government has given 2000 dual citizenship certificates only to their political henchman and boot lickers.

    Reply : 1       10

    Wesko Friday, 1 May 2015 10:18

    Well done sir, this too is 100 days ?

    Reply : 6       3

    YezSir Friday, 1 May 2015 11:03

    Now all these 7to11 store operators will come back to steal the few good jobs we have.

    Reply : 9       9

    Crazy Friday, 1 May 2015 12:12

    I think the 7/11 workers are students and must come back to SL even though they are earning tons more in wealthy countries than the poor people here in SL.

    Reply : 1       2

    Vijayan Friday, 1 May 2015 11:25

    There is no racism in the word "santos am" as it is neither Tamil nor is Sanskrit.please educate yourself before jumping to conclusions.

    Reply : 3       9

    mohamed Friday, 1 May 2015 12:27

    Paying Rs.500000 by an applicant has to be Rich or had to be a drug dealer. When it comes to a family of at least 4.. He or she has to pay Rs. 2000000 . What benifit is given to them . Only to be called a Sri lankan. To obtain a Visa to visit a Western country is a night mare.

    Reply : 0       8

    Ken Smith Friday, 1 May 2015 13:10

    The reintroduction of dual citizenships is welcome, my wife a Sri Lankan born Australian, has made many attempts, without success. Lost files etc. etc ,etc. As has been stated, in most democratic countries, applications for such positions, are well documented, and information and guidelines readily available. Please bring them out of hiding!

    Reply : 0       6

    Kumudu Friday, 1 May 2015 15:08

    Government is exporting knowledge economies to build other countries. While depriving their children rights for who still hold citizenship and addressing secondary issue. what have you done for foreign employees and these remittances get dehydrated due political agendas.

    Reply : 1       2

    Dinithi Friday, 1 May 2015 15:26

    But dual citizenship holders cannot contest elections. How can this be called dual citizenship. Call it something else.

    Reply : 0       3

    simon Friday, 1 May 2015 17:15

    They are restricted on many matters. Do not have the same privileges as regular SL citizen. It is only on paper

    Reply : 0       3

    damithw Friday, 1 May 2015 19:16

    I agree with others. Cost is too high.. It looks like selling the SL citizenship. What needs to be done is, increase the conditions , and decrease the cost. Then only genuine ones will get it...Not the drug dealers , who have money to swing around...It SL government thinks that this is a good way to cash some money to pay their bills,, They are dead wrong

    Reply : 0       3

    pandora Saturday, 2 May 2015 04:03

    Quote:"We don’t need drug addicts or smugglers like the one who was executed in Indonesia."This shows the knowledge of the minister on the subject plus while the reconciliation is the word, he choose to use those words. What most of the people are unaware of is, Indonesia mercilessly executes FOREIGNERS while trying to save 200 Indonesians on death rows in other country. Under the UN convention, drug trafficking is not one of the offences that is punishable by death. Read the story of those who died in Indonesia fully before commenting. I welcome the dual citizenship initiative, however it is too expensive to consider.

    Reply : 3       1

    sarrij Saturday, 2 May 2015 06:39

    Dual citizenship should be encouraged and all "Sri Lankans" should be welcome with very little bureaucratic involvement preferably with online applications and minimal costs.Make them feel proud.It will help the country in the long run in these troubled times..

    Reply : 0       1

    Kallathoni Saturday, 2 May 2015 09:49

    The very low figure of 185 successful applicants in the world diaspora denotes the difficulties faced by the community in finding the very high figure of Rs 500000 required for getting a duel citizenship in Sri Lanka

    Reply : 0       0

    aruna Saturday, 2 May 2015 10:58

    180*500,000=90,000,000=90 million rupees forein exchange per day

    Reply : 2       0

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