Dual citizens in Sri Lanka’s parliament can stay on unless challenged in court: justice minister

- economynext.com

ECONOMYNEXT – Despite a clause on Sri Lanka’s 21st amendment to the constitution barring dual citizens from entering parliament, legislators who hold dual citizenship can continue to be in parliament unless challenged in court, according to Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe.

Responding to questions in a political talk show on the privately owned Swarnavahini television channel on Monday October 24, Rajapakshe admitted that MPs in the current parliament who hold dual citizenship can stay on if they continue unchallenged and anyone whose dual citizenship was not known could surreptitiously enter parliament.

He said the government is working on an amendment to Sri Lanka’s parliament elections act to prevent such an event.

Rajapakshe said the matter of dual citizenship need not be the primary focus of the 21st amendment but it became a central point of discussion due to the controversy surrounding the dual citizenship of one specific politician.

“We saw the entire country collapsing because of one person. So the people of the country feel this needs to be corrected,” he said.

Opposition MP Patali Champika Ranawaka on Monday said legislators in Sri Lanka who hold dual citizenship must resign following the enactment of the 21st amendment to the constitution

There is currently an unknown number of dual citizens in Sri Lanka’s parliament.


Sri Lanka opposition MP says dual citizens in parliament should resign with dignity intact