geetha kumarasinghe citizanship issue
At present Mrs. Kumarathunge's Parliamentary position has been challenged due to her dual citizenship in Switzerland. Lanka News Web talks with MP Geetha Kumarasinghe regarding that issue.
Let us start the discussion from the dual citizen issue. What is the truth behind this story?
 
I completely refute these allegation. Every media institution has been showcasing this as a grave issue. There was nothing else for them to criticize me. I was elected by the popular votes of the people. If anyone challenges my appointment that means it is a challenge made to the people's sovereignty of this country.
 
Does that mean you have no dual citizenship with Switzerland? Are you a sole citizen of Sri Lanka?
 
Yes. I would like to emphasize once again that I am only a citizen of Sri Lanka. This is a court case that has been filed against me in a baseless manner. Some people have been accusing me by referring to something that was mentioned by the Attorney General's department during the trail. Still the case is not even over.
 
What is the present status of this court case?
 
Now it is in the Court of Appeal. I respect the court. And I have a big trust about our legal system. So I am waiting moderately until the court executes justice. Since this is an ongoing trial I would not comment further on the matter. I do not have any intention to insult the judiciary.
 
If the Court suphold the fact that you had possessed Swiss citizenship then your MP post would be abolished. What would you then?
 
It cannot happen. And even if id does, there is a Supreme Court to appeal next. I became an MP from the votes of the people. If anyone had a problem about me then they could have forwarded a petition during the nominations. At that time there was a lot of time available for election petitions. But no such thing happened. If these sort of things are allowed, it would set up a bad precedence. The MP posts of all the 225 members of the parliament could be taken away just by filing a case at a lower court. There are laws to prevent these things. Even now there are several MPs in the parliament who have dual citizenship in other countries. But none of them are being chased by the media.
 
Who are attacking you like this?
 
There is a group of politicians who have been rejected by the people. But they have been able to creep back into the government and even secure ministerial positions. This is not democracy. After that these defeated politicians have filed cases against the victors. But in public they are shouting about increasing the female representation in the parliament into 25%. Instead of increasing, what they are doing at present is decreasing that number even further. The people can judge the fairness of these matters. As a woman, my determination was my main strength. It was far more than physical strength. Even after being defeated for 6 years, I worked for the betterment of the people. That is why the people decided to elect me into the parliament. I have made my contribution to the society. At present, the tradition of our politics is to inherit political power from husband to wife and children. May be there are other ways as well. But I did not come from any such way. I was born and raised in a village. I went to a village school. After coming into cinema, I did my best to make it greater. I have taken the name of the country even into international cinema.
 
But what about the Geetha Kumarasinghe the politician?
 
Yes. Even in politics I have faced many challenges and have overcome them. I was addressed with every derogatory insult that could be said to a woman at political stages. I was mentally tortured. I even faced underworld threats to silence me. I will like to reveal such an incident for the first time to media. Recently there were elections for the Co-operative societies. When the time came for the election of Director Board there was a big competition. There were about 20 candidates from the UNP. But the SLFP was divided into Mahinda and Maithri Factions. However, when we were discussing the matters, suddenly, three thugs crashed into the place and scolded us in gutter language. I would like to request all political parties not to give nominations to rapists and thieves. If not, they are only going to protect their fellow criminals.
 
Why are you being accused like this?
 
I gave up a luxurious life, a citizenship of a foreign country and a vast wealth in the name of politics, it was the reason for the breakup of my marriage. It was an emotionally difficult incident for me. All this happened to me because of politics, if I had just kept quiet without demanding anything, no such thing would happen to me. But I like to face challenges than accepting ministerial invitations.
 
Does this mean that they are you are being subjected to political revenge taking?
 
Definitely. There are members in the TNA who have dual citizenship. There are other MPs and ministers who have dual citizenship.
 
 - AshWaru Colombo
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