Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera openly challenged SLPP presidential candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa to produce the certificate of loss of nationality or renunciation of his US citizenship prior to the presidential poll.
He told reporters at a hurriedly-convened news briefing held last afternoon at his office that, in the unlikely event of Gotabaya Rajapaksa emerging victorious at the forthcoming election, we would have an American citizen as President and the dubious honour of having the only other American First Lady in the world than Melania Trump.
“I urge Gotabaya Rajapaksa to produce the certificate of loss of nationality and OS 4079 proving his denunciation of US citizenship before the country goes to poll next week. What should be of great concern to all Sri Lankans at this moment of time is not the MCC agreement but the fact that one of the principal contenders of the presidential election had not yet renounced his US citizenship and that his wife and son continue to be fully-fledged US citizens.
“In order to renounce citizenship, a US passport-holder must obtain a ‘Certificate of Loss of Nationality’ with the US Treasury, where DS 4079 is approved for denunciation. In the first six months of this year, some 1,090 have been officially recorded with who have renounced their US citizenship. However, there is no approved DS 4079 for Gotabaya Rajapaksa in any of the 94 US District Courts. The filing could also be seated at the US Embassy in Colombo to be cleared. Usually, transactions and procedural backlogs between the US Treasury and US State Department take 16 to 24 months to clear. It is also a lengthy process due to taxation portions if income and assets are greater than the stipulated amount. Even after approval by the State Department, there is further 6 to 9 months with the US Treasury when OS 4079 was approved for renunciation. Therefore, it is evident that Mr. Rajapaksa remains a US citizen while being a candidate for the presidency in Sri Lanka,” he said.
Responding to Daily Mirror on whether any citizen could check with the US Embassy as a matter of public interest on the correct position of Mr. Rajapaksa’s US citizenship, Minister Samaraweera said Sri Lankans must round up the US Embassy in Colombo and demand it to reveal the truth about Mr. Rajapaksa’s matter.