An election monitoring watchdog in Sri Lanka, People’s Action for Free and Fair Elections (PAFFREL) says the citizens of another country could not represent people of Sri Lanka in the Parliament under the 19th Amendment to the Constitution and therefore every parliamentarian should assure that they are not dual citizens.
In a letter to the Speaker Karu Jayasuriya, the Executive Director of PAFFREL Rohana Hettiarachchi said UPFA parliamentarian Geetha Kumarasinghe lost her parliamentary seat since she was proven to be a dual citizen of Sri Lanka and Switzerland and pointed out that the judgment given by the Supreme Court stripping Ms. Kumarasinghe of her MP post is a turning point in the political history of Sri Lanka.
PAFFREL Director, explaining that the Parliament of Sri Lanka is the institution that formulates laws and policies and regulates finances of the country for its people, has pointed out in his letter that if there are people with foreign citizenship in that institution doubts will rise whether they would work for the welfare of the people of Sri Lanka.
Hettiarachchi pointed out that in the recent past there has been a dialogue among parliamentarians as well as ordinary citizens on dual citizenship issues and if the people’s representatives in the Parliament do not disclose their dual citizenship, they are deceiving the public.
The Executive Director further pointing out that in order to remove the society’s suspicion and to preserve the dignity of the members of parliament, requested the Speaker to obtain a sworn statement from every MP assuring that they are not citizens of any country other than Sri Lanka.
“The honor of the people is preserved only if the respect of the Parliament and the dignity of the people’s representatives are preserved. So we are absolutely sure that you will pay special attention to this matter,” PAFFREL Executive Director said in his letter.