US says “Cannot comment on individual issues”

The official spokesperson for the US Embassy in Colombo Nancy VanHorn, responding to a query raised by News 1st noted that the Embassy “cannot comment on individual visa or citizenship issues, under U.S. privacy laws”.

Hoping to bring in an official response from the US on an issue that has taken center-stage in the current Election Campaigns, News 1st asked the US Embassy three questions:

1. Can the US Embassy in Colombo verify whether or not the name of SLPP Presidential Candidate Nandasena Gotabaya Rajapaksa is included in the US Federal Register of Persons who have renounced the U.S Citizenship?

 2. Is there an official statement from the US Embassy in Colombo regarding the news items reported regarding the tweets (concerning the citizenship of SLPP Presidential Candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa) sent out by Minister Harin Fernando – a cabinet minister of the current government, and Parliamentarian Namal Rajapaksa?

 3. Can the US Embassy in Colombo verify whether or not Gotabaya Rajapaksa remains to be a citizen of the United States of America?

 The feedback from the Embassy today comes after the US Ambassador to Sri Lanka made an open comment on the issue a few months ago when questioned about the same name not appearing on the Second Quarter List of the US Federal Register as a person who has renounced US Citizenship. At the time, she said that the Federal Registry could be “months behind the recording of one’s renunciation of US Citizenship”.

Mr. Rajapakse’s name did not appear on the latest, Q3 list dated for November 12, 2019, which has opened up a massive controversy on the cusp of elections scheduled for this coming Saturday.

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