The case filed before the Court of Appeal challenging the Sri Lankan citizenship of SLPP presidential nominee Gotabaya Rajapaksa by Prof. Chandragupta Thenuwara and senior journalist Gamini Viyangoda will be taken up before the three-member Special High Court on October 02, 2019, which is today.
The petition’s content collectively simplified is mentioned below;
1. One who is not attached to Sri Lankan citizenship in accordance with 89 (a) clause of the Sri Lankan Constitution collectively read with 92nd clause is not lawfully obliged to elect as President.
2. Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa obtained US citizenship on January 31, 2003, which automatically terminates his existing Sri Lankan citizenship.
3. Mahinda Rajapaksa was elected as President ofthe Sri Lankan Republic on November 18, 2005.
4. This was when he was assuming as Premier, therefore, his term of office dismisses the prime ministry.
5. The Cabinet dissolves with the prime ministry ends term.
6. Dissolution of Cabinet dismisses term of ministerial secretaries.
7. All positions remain vacant until a gazette notification declares personnel for the respective ministerial and secretarial portfolios.
8. In circumstances which all seats remain vacant and no additional gazette issuedfor any active titles, or no lawful alternative is implemented, none shall has the jurisdiction to sign documents to assume either of the seats.
9. Ministers for new Cabinet were sworn in November 23, 2005.
10. Secretaries for the respective ministries were appointed in December 13, 2005.
11. The dual citizenship for Gotabaya Rajapaksa, or more specified he is attached for Sri Lankan citizenship as well, was issued in Monday, November 21, 2005, three days after Mahinda Rajapaksa assumes office.
12. At the time, no subject minister or subject ministerial secretary accounting to dual citizenship was appointed.
13. Therefore, no authorized body capable of christening Sri Lankan citizenship to Gotabaya Rajapaksa, or any foreign citizen, was present in Sri Lanka on November 21, 2005, the date in which Gotabaya Rajapaksa was privileged with the Sri Lankan citizenship.
14. Thus dual citizenship is due process that cannot be concluded within a day resembling issuing a driver’s licence. The application process consumes mass documentation and time.
15. In addition, the requirements to qualify for dual citizenship must be fulfilled. There is a long and tedious process that can never be completed within a day.
16. Therefore, Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s Sri Lankan citizenship issued on November 21, 2005 is highly challenged.
17. Given the circumstances, the validity of his Sri Lankan citizenship, regardless of whether he has withdrawn his US citizenship, is in question.
18. All documents he was registered to (including the electoral register) thereafter are in question.
19. The mere existence of a certificate does not prove anything, for the reasonsbehind the issuance of the certificate and whether the signatories were authorized to do so were challenged.
20. The crucial point here is whether the Dual Citizenship Certificate dated November 21, 2005 is a legal certificate issued under competent jurisdiction or merely a paper of no legal value.
21. In addition, obtaining a passport after the US citizenship was withdrawn under a false NIC, irregularities in the serial numbers and many other facts have been detailed in the petition.