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Appeals Court dismisses petition against Gotabaya’s citizenship

The Court of Appeal has unanimously decided to dismiss the petitions filed challenging the citizenship of former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa, without taking it up for consideration.

The court today concluded the consideration of the petition while all parties were given time to present their written submissions before 3.15 p.m.

The decision of the Appeal Court regarding issuing an interim order on the petition was be announced at 6.00 p.m.

The petition, filed by two social activists Gamini Viyangoda and Prof. Chandraguptha Thenuwara on September 30, was taken up for consideration for a third straight day this morning before a three-judge bench comprising Justices Yasantha Kodagoda, Mahinda Samayawardena and Arjuna Obeysekara.

The Controller General of the Department of Immigration and Emigration, the Commissioner-General of the Department of Registration of Persons, Minister Vajira Abeywardena, Secretary to the Ministry of Internal & Home Affairs and Provincial Councils & Local Government, Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa, former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Acting Inspector General of Police (IGP), Director of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), Senior Deputy IGP of CID and Officer in Charge of CID’s Special Branch have been cited as the respondents of the petition.

The petitioners had alleged that Gotabaya Rajapaksa has obtained a passport and a National Identity Card (NIC) claiming that he revoked his US citizenship.

The petitioners further stated that they have the necessary information to prove the former Defence Secretary did not submit proper documentation to verify the revocation of his US citizenship when obtaining a Sri Lankan passport and a NIC.

Hence, the petitioners had requested the Appeals Court to deliver an order suspending the issuance of a passport and a NIC to Gotabaya Rajapaksa. They also sought an interim order preventing the functioning of said passport and NIC until the court delivers the petition’s verdict.

However, the court decided to dismiss the petition without taking it up for consideration.

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