PAFFREL seeks each MP's dual citizenship status

The People’s Action for Free and Fair Elections (PAFFREL) Executive Director Rohana Hettiarachchi has requested the Speaker to obtain an affidavit from each and every Parliamentarian to confirm that they were not holding dual citizenships.

The PAFFREL made this request from Speaker Karu Jayasuriya on the heels of the Supreme Court ruling disqualifying Geetha Kumarasinghe from holding a Parliamentary seat on the grounds that she was a dual citizen of Sri Lanka and Switzerland.

In a letter to the Speaker last week, Hettiarachchi pointed out that if any MP concealed his or her dual citizenship, he or she was cheating the public. Hettiarachchi previously lodged an RTI request at the Emigration and Immigration Department querying the citizenship status of MPs. The Department replied that only former MP Kumarasinghe held a dual citizenship as per the records available with it. “We are unable to be satisfied with this reply as it does not give a concrete and clear idea on those who had not revealed dual citizenship they possess. The law makers should not break the country’s law by concealing their citizenship status. In order to clear any doubts and to protect the dignity of MPs, we request you to obtain an affidavit from each and every MP stating that they do not hold dual citizenship,” Hettiarachchi said in his letter to the Speaker.

“With former MP Kumarasinghe’s court case, a public dialogue was created on public representatives and officials holding dual citizenship.

Their integrity and conflict of interests were questioned. The Supreme Court ruling on Kumarasinghe’s appeal was a historical judgement that marks a turning point in Sri Lankan political culture,” the letter further said. 

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