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Sri Lanka’s Ex-President Rajapaksa Requests For Restoration Of US Citizenship: Media Report

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Sri Lanka’s ousted president Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who escaped the country in July 2022 to the Maldives and then came back after almost two months, according to a media report, has requested the restoration of his US citizenship after failing to get asylum in any nation.

However, the US government is yet to respond to the request, British newspaper The Sunday Times reported. 

In 2019, Rajapaksa gave up his US citizenship to contest the 2019 presidential election. According to Sri Lankan Constitution, dual citizenship holders are barred from contesting elections. 

“An appeal by his lawyers to the US government — more pointedly the Department of State to restore his citizenship, which he renounced to contest the November 2019 presidential election, has still not been considered,” the report said on Sunday.

The ex-president and his family members are currently in Dubai on vacation.

73-year-old Rajapaksa had made the appeal for the reinstatement of his US Citizenship after he was not successful in seeking asylum in any country after fleeing Sri Lanka during the antigovernmental protests last year, the report further said.

The report also said that a request to reinstate US citizenship previously held is an expensive legal process and time-taking.

On July 13 of last year, the disgraced former president left Sri Lanka for the Maldives. He then traveled to Singapore before arriving in Thailand. He returned home by plane on September 2.

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