Election Commission Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya has informed us that SLPP presidential candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa has not submitted any document regarding the renunciation of his US citizenship to the Commission, President’s Counsel Upul Jayasuriya said yesterday.
Addressing a news briefing, he said EC Chairman had conveyed this to their fellow President’s Counsel Thisath Wijegunawardene when he inquired this from the Chairman.
However, Attorney Ali Sabry said on Sunday that all documents related to the renunciation of Mr Rajapaksa’s US citizenship were handed over to the Elections Commission a few months ago.
Rejecting these claims, President’s Counsel Jayasuriya said Gotabaya Rajapaksa had not submitted any of the documents related to the loss of his US citizenship at any occasion.
“It is a question to be asked as to why the relevant documents were not submitted when the nomination was handed over to the Commission. The documents should have been submitted at that point without leading this issue to such a quandary,” Jayasuriya said.
He said it was more baffling that the name of Gotabaya Rajapaksa was not in the list of those renounced US citizenship as at September 30 this year “
If Mr Rajapaksa is actually concerned of the matter and wants to convince that he is no longer a US citizen, what can be done is to make a request to the US State Department so that it can reveal its official stance and can question as to why his name is not included in the list.
However, Mr Rajapaksa is not into such a move,”
“Nobody other than Mr Rajapaksa can make that request and not even the US or Sri Lankan governments or any other official can make it because of the confidentiality that is being maintained between the US Department and the applicant, Gotabaya Rajapaksa ” he added.
He said it could not be divulged to any third party.
Moreover, he said they would take necessary legal steps against Gotabaya Rajapaksa if he gets elected as the president while these uncertainties remain unsolved.
Meanwhile, he said the Commission had informed all the presidential candidates to produce an affidavit saying that they were Sri Lankan citizens and not citizens of another country and added Mr Rajapaksa had also produced such an affidavit but not any other document. (Sheain Fernandopulle)
Pix by Nimalsiri Edirisinghe