Posted on 09.21.2019 by Chandana Sirimalwatte in Top News with 0 Comments
Daily Mirror reports that Gotabaya Rajapaksha, presidential candidate of Sri lanka Podujana Peramuna has used an invalid national Identity card to register as an elector in the 2017, 2018 and 2019 electoral lists.
Gotabhaya has for consecutive three years, used the invalid identificatio number despite his knowledge that it had been invalidated by the Department for Registration of Persons in October 2016.
A senior official from DRP is reportedly explained the Daily Mirror that the procedure was necessary for a person who lost Lankan citizenship by becoming a foreign citizen. Such a person is allowed to regain citizenship by becoming a dual citizen under Section 19 (2) of the Citizenship Act No. 18 of 1948. Gotabhaya. Rajapaksha lost his Lankan citizenship in 2003 when he became an American citizen, so that his identification number automatically become invalid. Once he became a dual citizen in 2005 prior to becoming Defence Secretary he should have applied to get a national identification number.
According to reports at the Dept for Registration of Persons, Gotabhaya had in October 2016 handed over his NIC, with the intention of obtaining a new identity card on the basis that he was a dual citizen. As a result such a new identification card was issued bearing a new number.
Voter registration records for the Kotte polling district, where gotabhaya Rajapaksa has been registered to vote from Gangodawila South Grama Niladhari Division Daily Mirror reports. The editorial of the newspaper says that they’ve found that SLPP presidential candidate and younger brother of Mahinda Rajapaksha was registered by the first name on his household list using his invalidated NIC for the years 2017 and 2018. Online records of the Elections Commission draft registry for the year 2019 also show that he has also used the invalidated identification number to register in the most recent electoral list from the same address at which he was registered in 2017 and 2018. A search for Gotabhaya’s valid NIC issued in 2016 in the most recent three electoral registers turned up no results.
It appears to be a serious violation of the law for a person who had obtained a new NIC using the dual citizen procedure, thereafter continue using the previous identification number that had been invalidated years ago.
When contacted MP Keheliya Rambukwella – the Media Spokesman for Gotabhaya Rajapaksa – he said he was unaware and had to consult Gotabhaya Rajapaksa’s lawyers to comment since this was a legal issue.
Having learnt that the newspaper revealed the illegal actions Gotabhaya has done he has hurriedly responded with reasons for the illegal action and he has told the newspaper he is unaware of certain facts. Gotabhaya Rajapaksa have said that although he filled the form with the new ID number and the Department of Registration of Persons had informed the Elections Department of the new identity card number what appears in the electoral list is the old ID number.