Confident of President Gotabaya’s assurances on dual citizenship clause – Ministers

Wimal Weerawansa

Ministers Wimal Weerawansa, Udaya Gammanpila and Vasudeva Nanayakkara yesterday said they agreed to vote for the 20th Amendment to the Constitution after President Gotabaya Rajapaksa assured them that the new Constitution to be enacted next year will have clauses to prevent dual citizens entering Parliament or holding high ranking posts in the government.

Addressing the media in Colombo the National Freedom Front Leader and Industries Minister Wimal Weerawansa said he and the other members present will support the 20th Amendment by acknowledging the President’s pledge that the new Constitution of 2021 will address the issue.

He said during a recent meeting the President had assured that under the new Constitution ‘dual citizens’ will be prevented from entering parliament as representatives of the people or hold high-ranking posts in the government.

Weerawansa was speaking at a media briefing held at the N.M.Perera Centre in Borella yesterday morning with the participation of leaders of the National Freedom Front, the Democratic Left Front, the JHU, the Communist Party of Sri Lanka and the Lanka Sama Samaja Party.

Weerawansa went on to say “the 19th Amendment was brought by Ranil Wickremesinghe, who suffered from political inferiority, to bring anarchy to our country and not to strengthen democracy or the future of this country. It is well known in our country that certain clauses were included in it targeting the Rajapaksasa”.

Weerawansa however said some of the provisions in the 19th Amendment, especially the powers given to the Audit Commission, the cessation of emergency legislation, the restriction of the Cabinet to a certain level, and the restriction to the entry of persons with dual citizenship into Parliament, were positive ones.

Meanwhile Jathika Hela Urumaya Leader Udaya Gammanpila said during a recent meeting with President Rajapaksa, the President had pointed out that the previous government had brought the dual citizenship clause to target him.

The President said there was no dialogue in the country on the dual citizenship clause then but it was brought to target him who defended the country as the Defence Secretary and who developed the country as the Urban Development Secretary and to prevent him from contesting the Presidential election. Even in the middle of the election campaign, lawsuits were filed, the President had pointed out.

(Source: Daily News – By Upali Karunaratne)