Gotabaya’s foreign tour is currently the most talked-about topic in the media. Many news outlets reported that Gotabhaya travelled to America with his family. But, in reality, he went to Dubai rather than to America. Gota attempted to travel to America after fleeing Sri Lanka and landing in the Maldives. He decided to appoint Ranil as Acting President and asked Ranil to seek assistance from the American government in order for him to enter America.
Gotabaya is a U.S. citizen. During Premadasa’s administration, Anura Bandaranaike assisted him in getting visa to travel to America. Anura was a member of the opposition at the time. Mahinda Rajapaksa was close to Anura. Mahinda was also a member of the opposition. Gotabaya, who was in the military, wanted to leave the military and travel abroad, so he sought the assistance of his brother, MP Mahinda. Mahinda presented Gota’s case to Anura. Anura approached then-State Defense Minister Ranjan Wijeratne and obtained army permission for Gota to leave the military. Anura contacted the then-American ambassador and obtained a visa for Gota and his family to visit America.
Gotabaya obtained American citizenship with difficulty after moving to Amarica. In 2005, he returned to Sri Lanka and aided Mahinda’s presidential campaign. After Mahinda won the presidential election, Gota was about to leave for America when Mahinda asked Gota to accept the position of Defense Secretary. Gotabhaya did not renounce his American citizenship. But, when he decided to run for presidency in 2019, he renounced his American citizenship.
It was difficult for Gotabha to relinquish his American citizenship. According to the Colombo Telegraph website, Ranil, who was Prime Minister in 2019, assisted Gotabhaya in renouncing his American citizenship. This is how Colombo telegraph reported this in 2019.
‘Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe helped ex Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa to obtain a new passport through the intervention of his Internal Affairs Minister Wajira Abeywardena Colombo Telegraph learns.
The revelation puts a new twist on wide speculation for months now that the current prime minister and Gotabaya Rajapaksa are “thick as thieves,” a senior UNP MP said.
Wickremesinghe also knew that the former defence secretary would not have a problem relinquishing his US citizenship well ahead of the 2019 presidential election, sources told Colombo Telegraph. It is learnt that the Prime Minister had ensured Rajapaksa that the path would be smoothed for him in Colombo if he managed to get US authorities to release him in time for the poll.
Colombo Telegraph learns that Abeywardena, whose ministry includes the Registrar of Persons and Immigration Department, intervened to ensure Rajapaksa obtained a new National ID and passport the next working day after he received his certificate of citizenship renunciation from the US Embassy in Colombo. Details have already come to light that Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s passport was issued without him ever being personally present at the Department of Immigration and that his documents had been accepted after counters had been closed.
The revelations are further confirmed by the news that Chief of Staff to the Prime Minister Sagala Ratnayaka was at Rajapaksa’s Mirihana residence on Sunday (4th August) and seen by UNP chairman Kabir Hashim when he sought to pay the former defence secretary to inquire after his health. Hashim saw Ratnayaka skulking around the house and rushed out after a quick greeting since the pair appeared to be in deep discussion.
PM Wickremesinghe appears to have struck a deal with Rajapaksa to ensure his protection and survival after the election. Wickremesinghe wants to keep control of the UNP and continue as Opposition Leader even under a Gotabaya Presidency’.
After becoming President, Gotabaya maintained close ties with Ranil and Vajira Abeywardene, who assisted him in renouncing his US citizenship, which was a prerequisite for his election. Ranil, who ran unsuccessfully in the 2020 election, was elected through the National List to the parliament. Vajira Abeywardene played a significant part in Gotabaya’s appointment of Ranil as Prime Minister and Acting President.
Gota’s request to Ranil about regaining American citizenship is fateful because he earlier requested Ranil’s help to relinquish the citizen ship to become the president now offering the presidency and request his help to regain the citizenship.
Wimal Weerawansa said Gotabhaya sought advice from the American ambassador to Sri Lanka, Julie Chung, during the struggle, most likely because Gota spoke to Julie Chung to regain American citizenship. Following Ranil’s appointment as Acting President, he called the US ambassador to Sri Lanka Julie and requested to issue a tourist visa for Gota to enter America first, but Julie warned Ranil that it would be a difficult task. The reason for this is that it is difficult for a person who has renounced American citizenship to re-enter the United States under American law.
Following that, Gotabhaya attempted to travel to the United States as Sri Lanka’s UN ambassador. Then he’ll be able to stay in New York. However, it did not work. Gota brought his son to Sri Lanka and tried unsuccessfully to obtain a visa to travel to America in recent weeks. Gota travelled to Dubai after that. Gota was elected president by the support of patriotic anti-American force in this country. They were all of the opinion that Gota was a patriot of the country. However, he prefers to live in America. The error made by Sri Lanka’s patriotic anti-American parties and monks is not a minor one.