Trading Swiss nationality for Sri Lanka House

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lankan film actress Geetha Kumarasinghe has claimed that she renounced her Swiss nationality to qualify for August parliamentary elections, but election officials said they need to verify the time line of her purported  action.

Kumarasinghe in statements to newspapers on Friday claimed she asked Swiss authorities to strip her foreign nationality and applied for a new Sri Lankan passport.

She did not produce copies of her letters or the acknowledgements received from the authorities of the two countries but election officials said the crucial question was if she had completed the alleged process by July 13.

"If on the closing day of nominations Ms. Kumarasinghe had not resolved the dual nationality issue, then she is not qualified to be a member of the Sri Lanka parliament," an election official said. "What happened after July 13 is irrelevant."

Kumarasinghe has accused a fellow UPFA candidate of orchestrating a campaign to deprive her of her seat in parliament, but it is Kumarasinghe herself who had held up her Swiss nationality as a qualification to become Southern Province Chief Minister in an interview last year.

Officials said any disqualification of Kumarasinghe will not affect the entire list of candidates from Galle as feared earlier, but it was up to the Secretary General of Parliament to verify her citizenship status.

The SLFP General Secretary Duminada Dissanayake announced on Thursday that they were consulting legal opinion on Kumarasinghe’s position. (Colombo/Aug29/2015)

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