- I will submit the necessary papers not sooner the US informs me
By Lahiru Pothmulla and T.K.G.Kapila
Former defence secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who is hoping to contest the upcoming presidential election said yesterday all steps necessary to get his US citizenship revoked had been concluded successfully during his visit to the US.
He told journalists outside the Bandaranaike International Airport, Mr. Rajapaksa said he went to the US mainly to get his US citizenship revoked.
“I went to the US to take the necessary steps to get my US citizenship revoked and to meet my lawyers. I sucessfully completed the necessary procedures. However, I will have to finalise the matter from here. I will submit necessary documents no sooner they request me to do so,” Mr. Rajapaksa said.
Referring to the two lawsuits filed against him during his stay in the US he said as far as he was concerned he was not served with notices in a proper manner.
“Two civil cases had been filed against me in the US asking for compensation. One case is about the killing of a journalist and the other is about a person who was arrested; both incidents had occurred during my tenure as defence secretary some 10 years ago. According to the US law, I should be given notices by civil institutions. Nevertheless, my lawyers in the US are taking steps at court level to get it annulled,” Mr. Rajapaksa said.
He described the lawsuits as ‘politically motivated’ and ‘unfair’ while adding that the two cases would belittle the post of defence secretary and the image of the country.
“I travelled to the US at least on 10 occasions but no compensation had been requested from me. The cases have surfaced at a time when the presidential poll is coming up. Many elements are behind this move; an LTTE diaspora-backed international NGO, some elements in Sri Lanka and sadly the consulate general office in California. But still, our people, MPs, Sri Lankans in the US and a large number of people supported me,” Mr. Rajapaksa said.
Several Opposition MPs including C.B. Ratnayake, Janaka Bandara Tennakoon, Prasanna Ranatunga, Gamini Lokuge, Dilum Amunugama and Bandula Gunawardane were at the airport to welcome Mr. Rajapaksa while a large crowd of people were also gathered outside the airport to greet him.
I travelled to the US at least on 10 occasions but no compensation had been requested from me. The cases have surfaced at a time when the presidential poll is coming up.