10 dual citizen MPs launch bid to defeat 21A

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Over 10 MPs who hold dual citizenship have launched an attempt to defeat the 21st Amendment to the Constitution in Parliament, as it will include clauses that prevent people with dual citizenship from holding parliamentary seats, informed sources said.

This group of MPs are from main and minority parties in Parliament. However, election monitoring bodies said, Sri Lanka lacks a mechanism to find out which MP holds dual citizenship, and this helps them go undetected.

MP Basil Rajapaksa has publicly said before the last General Election that he is a US citizen and will not renounce his dual citizenship. MP Diana Gamage also said she has a UK passport.

MP Geetha Kumarasinghe lost her Parliamentary seat in 2017 as a result of a Court of Appeal decision that she was not eligible to hold office because she is a dual citizen.

The 19th Amendment had clauses to prevent dual citizens from holding parliamentary seats. However, the 20th Amendment which was ratified by the present Government removed that clause.

By Bingun Menaka Gamage