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.