Amid reports of lawsuits being filed against former defence secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa in the US, the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) said he had made an irrevocable decision to renounce his US citizenship despite it being the best source of protection against allegations of war crimes.
At a news conference SLPP chairman G.L. Peiris referred to the remarks made by Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo on Friday that international officials trying to prosecute American military personnel will not be allowed to enter the US.
“We are determined to protect the American, allied, and civilian personnel from living in fear of unjust prosecutions for actions taken to defend our great nation,” Mr. Pompeo told reporters at the State Department.
Commenting on these remarks Prof. Peiris said Mr. Rajapaksa as a US citizen had the best protection from war crimes allegations but however he would say goodbye to all these facilities by renouncing his US citizenship.
He said he wondered how frivolous attempts by some elements could thwart the renunciation of his US citizenship. Prof. Peiris said the attempt by Sunday Leader Editor Lasantha Wickramatunga’s daughter Ahimsa was in connection with an incident that took place more than ten years ago. He said there was another action being pursued against Mr. Rajapaksa in connection with an incident that took place in 2007.
Prof. Peiris said Mr. Rajapaksa had visited the US every year, but no case had been filed. However, he said the action which had been initiated so suddenly could be connected to the presidential election. (Kelum Bandara)