The Court of Appeal today was informed that there was no citizenship certificate issued to State Minister Diana Gamage by the Minister.
Counsel Hafeel Farisz appearing for the petitioner who challenged Diana Gamage’s citizenship by way of a writ petition submitted to court, said that in her statement to the CID, Diana Gamage herself had admitted that she is a British citizen.
He further said the Controller General of Emigration and Immigration in his affidavit had admitted the fact that his department has not issued a citizenship certificate to Diana Gamage.
Farisz said Diana Gamage had given a statement to the CID citing she was a British citizen and that she had renounced her British citizenship in 2014.
In her statement to the CID in October 2022, Gamage said that she was, in fact a British citizen by descent of her mother and in 2014 she had relinquished her citizenship .
Farisz argued that the only way that Diana Gamage can be given citizenship in Sri Lanka after she becomes a citizen of another country was if a certificate was issued.
President's Counsel Shavindra Fernando appearing for Diana Gamage moved court to dismiss the petition since it has not complied with the Court of Appeal rule 3(1)(a) of 1990. He further argued that the petitioner was relying on a statement given by Diana Gamage to the CID which has no evidential value. He contended that the statement given to the CID is inadmissible in accordance with the Evidence Ordinance.
Fernando further said there is no issues of Diana Gamage being a Member of Parliament since the Election Commission has issued a gazette notification affirming her legitimate appointment to the legislation.
President's Counsel Farman Cassim appearing for Ranjith Madduma Bandara of the Samagi Jana Balawegaya also informed court that authorities have not issued a Sri Lankan citizenship certificate to Diana Gamage and this matter has been admitted by the Controller General of Emigration and Immigration by way of an affidavit.
Meanwhile, the writ petition filed seeking an order declaring State Minister Diana Gamage is disqualified to be a Member of Parliament since she is a British citizen was today reserved for judgment by the Court of Appeal.
The Court of Appeal three-judge-bench comprising Justice (President) Nissanka Bandula Karunaratne, K.K.A.V. Swarnadhipathi and Justice M.A.R. Marikkar announced that the judgment regarding this petition would be delivered on October 18. The parties were directed to file their written submissions before October 4.
Social activist Oshala Herath filed this petition seeking an order in the nature of a Writ of Quo Warranto declaring that Diana Gamage is disqualified to be a Member of Parliament and is thus not entitled to hold office as a MP.
In this case, the petitioner claimed that State Minister Diana Gamage is a British citizen and only a British citizen can hold a British passport. The petitioner maintained that by virtue of becoming a citizen of another country, Parliamentarian Diana Gamage ceased to be a Sri Lankan citizen. The petitioner said Diana Gamage has not obtained dual citizenship or any other form of citizenship in Sri Lanka. (Lakmal Sooriyagoda)