By S.S. Selvanayagam
Two civil society activists yesterday filed an appeal before the Supreme Court, seeking to overturn the Court of Appeal decision to dismiss a Writ application that sought to clarify the status of Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) presidential candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s dual citizenship.
Appellants were activists Gamini Viyangoda and Prof. Chandragupta Thenuwara, part of the Purawesi Balaya organisation, who filed the appeal petition.
The three-judge Court of Appeal bench on 4 October unanimously dismissed the Writ Petition which sought an Interim Order restraining Presidential candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa from holding or claiming that he is a citizen of Sri Lanka, and from acting on the basis of the purported Dual Citizenship Certificate.
Court of Appeal Justice (President) Yasantha Kodagoda, Justice Arjuna Obeysekera, and Justice Mahinda Samayawardena made this order dismissing their Writ Petition. The Court of Appeal in its order decided not to issue notices on the Respondents after dismissing the petition in limine.
They had alleged that both Gotabaya Rajapaksa and former President Mahinda Rajapaksa were involved in a fraudulent act without substance of evidence.
The Petitioners had also alleged that the Dual Citizenship Certificate in question was allegedly issued by the sixth Respondent, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, to his brother, Gotabaya Rajapaksa.
They had impugned that the purported Dual Citizenship Certificate was not issued by the authority prescribed by law.
They had cited Controller General of Immigration and Emigration R.M.P.S.B. Rathnayake, Commissioner General for the Registration of Persons P. Viyani Gunathilaka, Minister of Internal and Home Affairs and Provincial Councils and Local Government Vajira Abeywardena, Ministry of Internal and Home Affairs and Provincial Councils and Local Government Gamini Senevirathna, former Defence Ministry Secretary Nandasena Gotabaya Rajapaksa, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Acting IGP Wickremaratne, Senior DIG Ravi Seneviratne and CID Director Shani Abeysekera as respondents.