Brits urge Americans not to cancel Gota’s citizenship

By Easwaran Rutnam

The British Government has urged America not to cancel the citizenship of former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa on any grounds ahead of the 2020 Presidential elections, sources told The Morning.

Well informed sources said that the request had been made in light of reports Rajapaksa may look to contest the 2020 Presidential elections.

The request had been made on an unofficial level, sources added. However The Morning cannot confirm if such a request had been made.

In 2015 Rajapaksa had said that he had submitted documents to the US Embassy seeking to cancel his dual citizenship.

Rajapaksa cannot contest the 2020 elections since he holds US citizenship but if his citizenship is cancelled by the US Government or he renounces it on his own free will he can contest.

Sources said that Britain, like the US, is keen to ensure the former Defence Secretary does not get a chance to contest the 2020 elections.

Under US law the US can cancel the citizenship of an American citizen under a process called denaturalization.

A US citizen can also renounce his or her citizenship but according to the US Department of State, US courts have held certain attempts to renounce US citizenship to be ineffective on a variety of grounds.

Rajapaksa had told a Tamil newspaper last month that he was prepared to contest the next Presidential elections.

He has already begun political work by holding public meetings.