| by Chris Kamalendran
( January 6, 2013, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) The Government is set to resume the dual citizenship system this month, but applicants will face a tough screening procedure including a face-to-face interview with a panel headed by Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa.
The other members in the panel will be Foreign Ministry Secretary Karunatillake Amunugama and Public Administration Secretary P.B. Abeykoon.
“The panel will look into criteria such as the applicant’s professional qualifications, investment capacity and the need to obtain dual citizenship”, Mr Amunugama said.“Many of the people who are seeking dual citizenship have left the country in their youth and therefore we will be closely looking at the reason for their decision,” he added. Immigration official said some 2,000 applications for dual citizenship scheme were pending.
The dual citizenship scheme was introduced in 1987 and more than 4,000 people have been granted this facility.
Sarath Kumara, Immigration Controller in charge of visas, said amendments to the Immigration Act would be introduced based on proposals sent to the Legal Draftsman Department.
Persons applying for dual citizenship will first have to face an interview with a panel from the Immigration Department before facing the panel of the three ministry secretaries, he said adding that applications from people with criminal records would not be entertained.
Courtesy : The Sunday Times