The Elite And Improbable Dual Citizenship Panel

Sri Lankan Dual Citizenship

According to the Sunday Times, Sri Lanka will reintroduce dual citizenship, however, new applicants will have to be personally interviewed by the secretaries of three ministries, including Gotabaya Rajapaksa. The probability of getting these three guys in a room once let alone 2,000 times is low, so this seems like a bit of a farce.

Sri Lanka has no immigration policy, really, which I think is rather backwards. The occasional person like Arthur C. Clarke can get in, but it’s very difficult for spouses of Sri Lankans (unless you give up other citizenships) and basically impossible if you simply decide you want to live and work here. This cuts Sri Lanka off from flows of human capital that make nations like America and Australia resilient, productive and rich.

At the same time, Sri Lanka does nothing to reverse brain drain (skilled people leaving Sri Lanka) by making it very difficult to return to Sri Lanka. I obtained dual citizenship around 2005/6 by waiting for 10 months and paying I think over 2 lakhs. Since then the facility has been suspended entirely. Now they’re saying that applicants will have to first face an immigration department interview and then meet three of the most powerful and busy people in the country personally. This is a serious bottleneck and a fundamentally unserious policy.

Gotabaya Rajapaksa is himself a dual citizen (Sri Lanka and US) and it’s ridiculous that he’d need to personally vet all 2,000 pending applications plus more to come. Even if he holds one interview a day, just clearing the backlog will take 5 1/2 years.

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2013-01-09 08:19:13

RT @indica: The Elite And Improbable Dual Citizenship Panel: Now Gotabaya has to interview each applicant

2013-01-09 08:22:38

I migrated to Australia 5yrs ago but have remained a Sri Lankan citizen. I’m now eligible to become an Australian citizen and need to decide whether I give up the Sri Lankan citizenship. If I do give up. I need to pay $250 each time my family of five visit Sri Lanka (and if we stay for more than 30 days we need to pay more).

The great thing is that Australia does not discriminate between permanent residents and citizens (the only difference is that PR holders cannot vote in Australia). So I will most probably continue to be a Sri Lankan citizen until it becomes too inconvenient.

2013-01-09 09:12:32

Luckily I got dual around the same time Indi did, but now if I was faced with the choice I’d give up SL citizenship in a heartbeat. This is bullshit and the GoSL is shooting themselves in the foot by doing this.

2013-01-09 09:56:35

I don’t understand why people want to retain citizenship of the uncivilized country. Can someone explain?

2013-01-09 11:24:11

Because some ppl are not ungrateful scum?

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2013-01-09 11:34:17

They would want it if they have assets, a house or land, its a big nuisance if it still in ones name and the citizenship is lost, causes endless administrative complications.

Other reason that I know of is that they sometimes hope to retire here.

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2013-01-09 09:18:27

RT @indica: The Elite And Improbable Dual Citizenship Panel: Now Gotabaya has to interview each applicant

2013-01-09 09:55:07

The visa is $20 bucks not $50.

2013-01-09 11:19:43

Unless you have land, property and want to engage in selling or doing business, it doesn’t make sense to retain SL citizenship as foreigners get heavily taxed. Actually, even for that there are loopholes that you can exploit in the system.

Sri Lanka does need to get its act together and formulate an immigration policy in the least to attract talent and develop.

2013-01-09 13:38:59

Well, this is a nice way to keep the Tamil’s aspiring to come back away. And to fleece, extort from those who still want to come for various reasons….

2013-01-09 14:36:02

Keeping bogus refugees out of Sri Lanka would be a good thing, including those who participated in LTTE rallies and funded their campaign of violence and terror. This would mean a a large section of the Tamil diaspora would be affected.

2013-01-09 16:24:31

And this panel is your preferred solution?

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2013-01-09 17:19:50

Not necessarily. But locking out Tamil extremists from Sri Lanka would be a good step.

2013-01-09 18:46:27

And your point relative to the post?

2013-01-09 20:38:35

A layer of security to keep Tamil extremists out wouldn’t be amiss.

2013-01-10 23:30:01

That’s nice but has nothing to do with this post.

2013-01-09 16:45:00

wow jujubes really? Refugees want to come live in SL? Where’s your head at? No I think this is done because this is Rajapakstan and nothing makes sense…ever…

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2013-01-09 17:18:51

Yep the “refugees” who wail and moan about “persecution” in Sri Lanka, and then are busy jetting back to Sri Lanka on holiday as soon as they receive their foreign citizenship, visiting their relatives in Jaffna and buying and selling properties. Yep, those people holding up LTTE flags and cutouts of Prabhakaran, burning the Sri Lankan flag, and screaming for a boycott of Sri Lanka. Yep, those people who funded the LTTE, donated money to them, glorified the violence and terrorism of the Tamil Tigers.

Yes, they should be locked out of Sri Lanka.


2013-01-10 14:43:48

Problem? Yep. Your argument is not well considered. The people you speak of are highly unlikely to have been refugees. Anyone who had an initial acceptance of refugee status risks losing their immigration status in their host country if they return to Sri Lanka. If they have made false claims and return, then in fact they have made a mockery of the host Marion’s generosity and legal system, not Sri Lanka, and will make it much harder for people following them to be granted refugee status. Furthermore, if they are seeking DUAL citizenship (the OP subject), then they cannot maintain that they are still at risk. Surely this would be a fantastic PR opportunity for Sri Lanka? ‘Former refugees feeling safe enough to return’ etc.

Is the GoSL so incompetent that only Gota can investigate and determine whether someone would be ‘not conducive to the public good’ or some such? Competent countries defer such decisions to the civil service. If there’s evidence of illegal or undesirable activity the individual can be refused without troubling the (presumably busy) 2nd most powerful man in SL. No-one’s suggesting terrorists and their supporters should be allowed dual-citizenship, the whole point is that this form of decision-making is ridiculously slow, it is disproportionate and hurts Sri Lanka financially and socially, while at the same time confirming its status as a failing State. Your acceptance of this failure is the problem.

2013-01-23 03:58:56

exactly my point. It’s best to keep the terrorist supporters from obtaining dual citizenship (or even visiting SL). But really …. Gota needs to do it personally. It’s not like he took a gun and personally went in to kilinocchi to kill Prabarakan. There should be another division with enough officers to handle the volume of applications

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2013-01-10 16:26:41

They may like the land, their friends and their family.

Visiting for a short time is not much of a problem. The foreign passport gives an added sense of security, can appeal to the embassy to bail you out if you face a big issue.

What is telling here is the level of paranoia that the regime exhibits.

2013-01-10 00:17:47

It is highly unlikely that every applicant would need to go thru Gota. Gotas panel will be there to stop LTTE diaspora from abuse the system and taking advantage in voting for SL elections.

2013-01-10 05:33:40

Ungrateful for having ones land taken over, and being paid a pittance in compensation?

2013-01-10 16:27:27

If there are 2000 pending applications, and these three people are needed to personally vet them, it’s clear that they have already decided not to hold 2000 interviews. Just scratch out the Tamil names, scratch out the Sinhalese who’re not connected, and start business. They know what they’re doing. It’s just that it’s not in the best interest of the general public.

2013-01-10 18:05:42

“Just scratch out the Tamil names, scratch out the Sinhalese who’re not connected, and start business. ”

I think you’ve just drafted the policy.

2013-01-14 19:20:06

51/2 year! Life’s too short to want wait that long, I would rather pay 20 bucks rather than meeting those Elite Secs…BTW, wonder if there will be ‘Citizenship courses’ for hopeful dual citizens!

2013-01-23 15:57:49

There could be such a division if there was actually any stated criteria that this division would review. To me, it sounds like the usual govt crap that is translated as “if you pass us a few dollars we’ll let you in”.

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