Attorney-at-law Sarath Upali Kongahage yesterday petitioned the Supreme Court stating that the retired General Sarath Fonseka was a citizen of the United States of America, and hence he should be disqualified from contesting for the office of the President, under the Provisions of the Constitution of Sri Lanka.
Fonseka had pledged his allegiance to the USA, by obtaining permanent residence rights in USA, the petition said.
Fonseka was, the petition said, not a citizen of Sri Lanka according to the meaning of Article 31(1) of the Constitution of Sri Lanka.
The green card issued to Fonseka, bore the Number-AH-055-090-192. The petition said that to be eligible for a green card issued by the US migration authorities, the applicant must, in the first instance, make an application to emigrate from Sri Lanka and to seek US citizenship. The green card gives the holder permanent residence rights in USA, which was a prelude to the obtaining of full US citizenship. A green card holder was bound by the US laws.
The petition held that Fonseka was not a citizen of Sri Lanka for the purpose of eligibility to contest the office of President.
Fonseka on nomination day had not registered any protest or objection, when the petitioner objected to his nomination on the grounds that he was not a citizen of Sri Lanka and that he was a citizen of the USA.
Fonseka has strong links to the USA. His daughters were American citizens. One was married to an American citizen of Sri Lankan origin, the petition said.
The petition, in paragraph 38, said that if not for the timely intervention of the government of Sri Lanka, General Fonseka would have in November, 2009 in keeping with his legal obligations to the USA Government, divulged highly sensitive official secrets to the US Department of Home Security despite his being Chief of Defence Staff in Sri Lanka. That was a clear indication of conflicting interests, which threatened the security and integrity of Sri Lanka.
The petition said that the acceptance of nomination of General Fonseka by the Commissioner of Elections had led to a violation of the right to equality of the petitioner, a rival candidate at the forthcoming presidential polls.
The petition requested Court to disqualify the nomination of Fonseka declare that he was disqualified from being elected as President of Sri Lanka in the event Fonseka being elected, to declare null and void his election and to elect the runner-up as the president.
The petition is to be supported in Court shortly.