It was the yahapalana government that brought and passed the 19a in April 2015 with key clause that no MP should be a dual citizen. The onus is definitely on them to prove that none of them were dual citizens when inserting this clause which was primarily to prevent Gotabaya Rajapaks from harboring intent to contest elections. The manner their cohorts went to file cases to prevent nominations being accepted is a case in point.
We now need to ask who in this good governance government inserted this 19a clause while hiding the fact that they were themselves dual citizens?
Article 92(b) and Clause 20(4) of the 19a and Article 91(1)(d)(XIII) of the Constitution says persons who are dual citizens are DISQUALIFIED from being elected as MPs or the President.
This means even after entering Parliament they cannot obtain dual citizenship.
So what was the purpose in inserting a clause when only 1 MP declared she was a dual citizen at nomination and her honesty led to her being dismissed from Parliament?
We are now asking if there are MPs in Parliament who are DUAL CITIZENS but have WITHHELD that information when filling their nomination papers.
This is un-parliamentary and if it has been done by any party/politicians who were supporters of 19a then it is daylight hypocrisy.
If a clause was inserted to deny a MP or a President to be dual citizen it was only right that ALL of them be asked to declare they are NOT DUAL CITIZENS.
The President of Sri Lanka was made to face embarrassing and humiliating court cases with ‘dual citizens’ questioning if he was a citizen of Sri Lanka to contest elections.
Therefore, the President must now demand that the Parliament that passed this 19a have all MPs declare that they are NOT DUAL citizens by affidavit.
Other than an affidavit what other ways can we know if a MP is a dual citizen?
- The Foreign Ministry can request selected countries to confirm with their records if any of the 225 MPs are dual citizens
- The Election Commission can make a demand
- MPs personally admit being dual citizen
- Immigration confirms their travel details for visa
- Defense Ministry confirm letters issuing dual citizenship
The 19a was passed in April 2015 inserting clause on dual citizenship. Why didn’t the election commissioner ask MPs at time of nominations to produce affidavits that they were not dual citizens instead of relying only on their honesty to admit so. Only Geetha Kumarasinghe when filing nominations admitted to being a dual citizen. She was disqualified because of her honesty. Others who are now MPs while being DUAL CITIZENS cannot be in Parliament because of their dishonesty. If so their PENSIONS should be denied because they acted dishonestly knowing 19a strictly denied anyone contesting elections while being a dual citizen.
MPs in Parliament cannot make a mockery out of democracy inserting clauses simply to fool the people and not adhering to them. We all know that 19a was specifically written to target individuals to prevent them contesting. Shall shallow constitutional amendments were made for petty political agendas. But natural justice must prevail.
Therefore, the President would have realized from his own personal ordeal and the manner his nominations was on a thin line because of 19a must put the ball into Parliament and demand ALL MPs produce AFFIDAVITS THAT THEY ARE NOT DUAL CITIZENS.
Shenali D Waduge