- Will all 21 others given citizenship on November 21, 2005, be rendered stateless?
- Writ cannot be invoked on a technicality as Gota has been a citizen for 14 years
By Shehan Chamika Silva
Expressing his preliminary objection against the writ application relating to Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s Sri Lankan citizenship issue, Romesh de Silva PC said the petition was a mala fide (not in good faith) application filed for pure political vengeance and it should be dismissed straightaway as there is no right to invoke writ jurisdiction on a technicality according to decided case law.
He made these remarks pointing out several factors which are relating to the petition.
Mr. De Silva said if the president could not sign the dual citizenship certificate in 2005, it was not only Gotabaya Rajapaksa who would get affected from this matter. He said there were 21 other individuals whose citizenship certificates were granted on that day (November 21, 2005). ‘Now what about their stance on this issue? Will those 21 individuals be rendered stateless too?’ he asked.
“Secretary to the Defence Ministry can only be held by a citizen in this country. And my client has been a citizen for almost 14 years. And the petitioners suddenly come to court to dispute about his citizenship merely on the ground of a technicality now. Writ applications cannot be invoked on technicality so this application should be dismissed straightaway as per law”, he said. Mr. De Silva further explained about the alleged intention of the petitioners by referring to certain parts of the writ petition. “On the caption of this writ application, it is mentioned Minister of Home Affairs as ‘Honourable Minister’, but the 6th respondent, the former president of this country was cited as only Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa”, Romesh de Silva argued. He said that it reflects the clear mala fide intention of the petitioners. He also referred to another part and said “In the petition, the petitioners have stated that they have been deeply disturbed because of the non-arrest of Gotabaya Rajapaksa by the investigators. How can they be disturbed because of that? This shows clear mala fide intention motivated by political vengeance”. Noting the petitioners’ argument that “There is a grave threat to national security if Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who is not a citizen of this country, is elected as the President”, Mr. De Silva said that his client had been serving the country at a time when the security of the nation was considered most high and had served as a citizen of the country. “How can it be for a person who had dedicated his life to save the country be a threat to this land?” he queried.
Main argument in the writ petition against Gota
related graphic on page 6