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GR’s name appears on US Federal list of those who renounced citizenship

FILE PHOTO – President Gotabaya Rajapaksa with nephew Namal at the opening of the last part of the Southern Expressway/PMD

ECONOMYNEXT – Finally ending lingering doubts whether President Gotabaya Rajapaksa renounced his United States citizenship his name has appeared in the latest quarterly publication of the US Federal Register of individuals who have chosen to “expatriate” l 2019or renounce citizenship.

In the months leading up to the last Presidential election the President’s citizenship status was controversial as there was speculation that he had not renounced his US status.

Foreigners or dual citizens cannot hold elected office in Sri Lanka’s legislative bodies or contest the presidency.

Rajapaksa stoutly insisted that he had given up his US status in April 2019, a statement the government of Sri Lanka appeared to have accepted at that stage issuing a Sri Lankan passport and an Identity card.

His citizenship status was also not formally challenged at his nomination for the Presidency by any of his opponents.

However his opponents continued to question his status since his name had not appeared in the quarterly declaration.

It is normal for there to be a lengthy time lapse between the renunciation and the publication in the register.

Almost all US citizens who renounce their status do so for tax purposes and until the US Tax Department clears dues and issues a certificate the name would not appear. (Colombo, 9 May 2020)

Reported by Arjuna Ranawana

 

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