President Mahinda Rajapaksa has pledged to restore dual citizenship for Sri Lankans from January next year.
The President made these remarks addressing a meeting in Milano, Italy, which was attended by members of the SLFP branch in Italy. The President told the SLFP supporters in Milano that the government was well aware of the issues faced by Sri Lankans living abroad.
President Rajapaksa also revealed that the government was exploring the possibility to introduce new legislative measures pertaining to pension schemes of Sri Lankans working abroad. “They will be able to bring their pension money to Sri Lanka without barriers,” the President said.
The Government of Sri Lanka scrapped dual citizenship for Sri Lankans a few years ago saying there were various loopholes in the system. The decision, which came as a surprise to many Sri Lankans living abroad, came under criticism from various parties.
However, the government has already claimed already said it will reintroduce the facility after changes to the relevant laws. Certain media reports claimed that the new laws will impose a stringent criteria on Sri Lankans applying for dual citizenship.
It is speculated that an applicant would have to pay more than he did before for the dual citizenship. In addition to that, applicants will also have to comply with several new conditions imposed by the Ministry of Defence and the Department of Immigration and Emigration.
Although the Cabinet has granted its approval for the amendment, the process has been extra-ordinarily slow. The Department of Immigration and Emigration has still not given a solid answer explaining the reasons behind the delay.
Source : asianmirror.lk