“I’d like to tell our Leader of Opposition to not do things as if he has no shame. I let you contest through my party when you had nothing and no one; you would not have even had a nomination without me. I know that Sajith is someone with no courtesy or respect, or else he would not behave like this.” Says Tourism State Minister Diana Gamage


BY Kiara Warnasuriya

State Minister of Tourism Diana Gamage claimed in Parliament last Saturday (19) that she has proven her value to the country through her actions, warning Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa that she will continue to do so despite the Opposition’s efforts to remove her from Parliament.

“I know that the Opposition undertook a major effort to remove me from Parliament, including the Opposition Leader. You appointed a board of lawyers and tried to remove me, but I tell you now, say whatever you want to me and about me, because I have shown through my actions what I can do on behalf of this country, I have vouched for myself. I will continue to vouch for my own actions for this country.”

Gamage further slammed the Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) for the recent protest by the female members of the SJB, led by SJB MP Hirunika Premachandra, which, Gamage opined, had lost all cause.
“What shocks me is that the women of this party stand only for the women of the party. They get out on the streets on behalf of the party. If women are protesting, they need to protest on behalf of all women. As a woman, if I were to get on the streets, I would do so on behalf of all the women in this country, regardless of their party, religion, or race.”

Addressing the rumours circulating about her within the Opposition, Gamage denied that she was taken into Parliament out of sympathy.
“I’d like to tell our Leader of Opposition to not do things as if he has no shame. I have heard the SJB MPs say I was taken as an MP to Parliament on sympathy. You are the one here out of sympathy. I let you contest through my party when you had nothing and no one; you would not have even had a nomination without me. I know that Sajith is someone with no courtesy or respect, or else he would not behave like this.”

She finally warned the SJB Leader: “I know all that you say and do undercover against me. Do whatever you want, we will see what happens.”

Gamage was expelled from the SJB in October 2021 for voting with the Government in favour of passing the 20th Amendment to the Constitution, which was passed with a two-thirds majority, following which she challenged her expulsion in court in November last year.

The MP’s seat in Parliament was challenged in the Court of Appeal by social activist Oshala Herath on the grounds that she is a British citizen. Whilst naming Gamage as the first respondent, the petitioner has also cited the Minister of Public Security, the Immigration and Emigration Department Controller General, the Samagi Jana Balawegaya General Secretary, the Parliament Secretary General, the incumbent and former members/commissioners of the Election Commission, the Chief Inspector of the Human Trafficking and Smuggling Division of the Criminal Investigation Department of the Police, and the Attorney General as respondents. The 21st Amendment which was passed earlier this year too disqualifies dual citizens from contesting elections in Sri Lanka.

The petitioner claims that Gamage is not a citizen of Sri Lanka. Furthermore, he argues that she holds British passports bearing numbers 094425352 and 521398876. He further claims that she has not even obtained dual citizenship and/or any other form of citizenship in Sri Lanka after ceasing to be a Sri Lankan citizen by virtue of becoming a citizen of another country. The Colombo Chief Magistrate imposed a travel ban on Gamage following all allegations against last Friday (11).

Courtesy:The Morning