Skills Development and Vocational Training Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe yesterday strongly refuted Galle District Parliamentarain Geetha Kumarasinghe’s claim that he too held Swiss dual citizenship. Addressing a media conference at his Ministry, Minister Samarasinghe insisted that throughout his life, he had only held Sri Lankan citizenship and accused Ms Kumarasinghe who is facing a court verdict [...]

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Mahinda Sam refutes Geetha’s allegation of dual citizenship

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Skills Development and Vocational Training Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe yesterday strongly refuted Galle District Parliamentarain Geetha Kumarasinghe’s claim that he too held Swiss dual citizenship.

Addressing a media conference at his Ministry, Minister Samarasinghe insisted that throughout his life, he had only held Sri Lankan citizenship and accused Ms Kumarasinghe who is facing a court verdict on her eligibility to remain as an MP, of lying to the media.

As per the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, a person holding dual nationality is ineligible to be an MP.

“As someone who has been engaged in politics for 30 years, I have been committed to my motherland. I have the necessary qualifications and skills to obtain the citizenship of another nation, had I wanted to, but the thought never occurred to me because I am engaged in principled politics,” the minister told journalists.

He pointed out that, for eight years, since the end of the war, he had led the Sri Lankan delegations to the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva to defend the country. “If I was a Swiss citizen, I would not have been able to effectively respond to their questions.”

He said he had no personal animosity towards Ms. Kumarasinghe but since he had an obligation towards the people he represented, he had to respond to baseless allegations.

“At a time when she is the accused in a court case over dual nationality, it is wrong of her to level such allegations. She could easily have verified it from me,” Mr Samarasinghe said.

He warned that, if Ms Kumarasinghe repeated the claim, he would be forced to take legal action against her.

 

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