Bandula to go to SC on Mahendran’s citizenship

The joint opposition said today it would file a case in the Supreme Court seeking to clarify whether the duties and responsibilities carried out by former Central Bank governor Arjuna Mahendran were legal on the basis of not being a Sri Lankan citizen but that of Singapore.

Referring to the last week’s Appeal Court ruling disqualifying Geetha Kumarasinghe from being a parliamentarian because of her dual-citizenship, it queried as to how a citizen of another country could hold a top post like that of CB governor when a dual-citizenship holder is disqualified from being an MP.

“Clause 165 of the Constitution states that all public officers should take an oath prior to commencing duties. However, Mr. Mahendran has told the Committee On Public Enterprises (COPE) that neither did take any oath nor did anyone ask him to do so. How can a foreign citizen without taking the oath of loyalty to the country function as the CB governor and continue to sign Sri Lanka's currency notes,” MP Bandula Gunawardane told a news conference.

He said currency notes of Rs.100 and 5,000 signed by Mr. Mahendran were in circulation and the fact that he was a citizen of Singapore raised their legitimacy.

The MP said a citizen of Singapore could not work for the betterment of another country because Singapore does not recognise dual-citizenships. “As far as we know, Mr. Mahendran is still a foreign citizen and had not abandoned his Singapore citizenship,” he said.

He said he would file action in the Supreme Court after Vesak so as to obtain a determination on this matter and to ascertain whether the currency notes signed by Mr. Mahendran were valid.

Clause 165 of the Constitution says any public officer is required by the Constitution to take an oath of allegiance on taking up office or duties.

“Any such officer of an office failing to take and subscribe to such oath or make and subscribe such affirmation after the commencement of the Constitution on or before such date as may be prescribed by the Prime Minister by Order published in the Gazette shall cease to be in service or hold office,” the Constitution says. (Lahiru Pothmulla)


Video by Sanjeewa

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