The Sunday Leader

Politics Broke Up My Marriage – Geetha Kumarasinghe

  • I was elected by a popular vote. If anyone challenges my election that means it is a challenge made to the people’s sovereignty
  • I would like to emphasise once again that I am only a citizen of Sri Lanka. This is a court case that has been filed against me in a baseless manner
  • There are several MPs in parliament who have dual citizenship. But none of them are being hunted by the media
  • We are the true opposition. But we are not given the opportunity to speak. What is happening in parliament at present is entirely unfair.
Joint opposition member Geetha Kumarasinghe has been accused of having a dual citizenship and as a result not suitable to continue to hold her seat in Parliament. However speaking to The Sunday Leader she dismissed the allegations. Kumarasinghe said she is confident the issue will be resolved by court.

Following are excerpts of the interview:-  

by Ashanthi Warunasuriya

Q:  What is the truth behind your dual citizenship issue?

A:   I deny  these allegations. Media institutions have been showcasing this as a grave issue. There was nothing else for them to criticise me. I was elected by a popular vote. If anyone challenges my election that means it is a challenge made to the people’s sovereignty.


Q:  Does that mean you do not have citizenship of Switzerland as well?

A:  Yes. I would like to emphasise once again that I am only a citizen of Sri Lanka. This is a court case that has been filed against me in a baseless manner. Some people have been accusing me by referring to something that was mentioned by the Attorney General’s department during the trial. The case is not over.


Q:  What is the present status of this court case?

A:   Now it is in the Court of Appeal. I respect the court. I trust our legal system. So I am waiting till the court executes justice. Since this is an ongoing trial I will not comment further on the matter. I do not have any intention to insult the judiciary.


Q:  If the Court upholds that you have Swiss citizenship then your MP post would be abolished. What would you do then?

A:  It cannot happen. Even if it does, I can appeal to the Supreme Court. I became an MP from the votes of the people. If anyone had a problem about me then they could have forwarded a petition during the nominations. At that time there was a lot of time available for petitions to be filed against the candidates. But that did not happen. If these sorts of things are allowed, it would create bad precedence. The MP posts of all the 225 members of parliament could be taken away just by filing a case at a lower court. There are laws to prevent these things. Even now there are several MPs in parliament who have dual citizenship. But none of them are being hunted by the media.


Q:  Who are attacking you like this?

A:  There is a group of politicians who have been rejected by the people. But they have been able to creep back into the government and even secure ministerial positions. This is not democracy. After that these defeated politicians have filed cases against the victors. But in public they are shouting about increasing female representation in the parliament up to 25%. Instead of increasing, what they are doing at present is decreasing that number even further. The people can judge the fairness of these matters. As a woman, my determination was my main strength. It was far more than physical strength. Even after being defeated for six years, I worked for the betterment of the people. That is why the people elected me to parliament. I have made my contribution to the society. At present, the tradition of our politics is to inherit political power from husband to wife and children. May be there are other ways as well. But I did not come from any such way. I was born and raised in a village. I went to a village school. After coming into cinema, I did my best to make it greater. I have taken the name of the country even into international cinema.


Q:  Why are you being accused like this?

A:   I gave up a luxurious life, a citizenship of a foreign country and a vast wealth in the name of politics. It was the reason for the breakup of my marriage. It was an emotionally difficult incident for me. All this happened to me because of politics. If I had just kept quiet without demanding anything, no such thing would have happened to me. But I like to face challenges than accepting ministerial posts.


Q:  Does this mean that they are you are being subjected to political revenge?

A:  Definitely. There are TNA members who have dual citizenship. There are other MPs and ministers who have dual citizenship.


Q:  Was there any invitation for you from the government to join them?

A:  Yes.


Q:   Don’t you think that it would have been better if you had accepted that invitation?

A:   I am not afraid of challenges. I always face them. There is a solution to every problem. So I did not back away from this problem. I am the only woman who came to parliament from the Southern province. If these people could threaten someone like me, then imagine what they can do to an ordinary woman. Sri Lanka is the worst country for a woman to do politics in Asia.


Q:  Are you planning to keep quiet in the face of these allegations?

A:  No. No one can silence me. The art world and the people of the country are with me.


Q:  What is your opinion on the incident involving MP Dinesh Gunawardena in Parliament?

A:  MP Dinesh Gunawardana is a real gentleman and never raises his voice in parliament. But on that day, around 200 policemen entered parliament. On the day we were planning to discuss    women’s affairs, but these policemen behaved in a disgusting manner. They did not even respect the supremacy of parliament. As the joint opposition we strongly condemn such actions. The TNA has never even seen the South. They are not speaking about the problems of the people. We are the true opposition. But we are not given the opportunity to speak. What is happening in the parliament at present is entirely unfair.


Q: What is your opinion about the Speaker of Parliament?

A: As long as we are MPs we respect him. We accept his words as law. But as I see it, he has become helpless as a result of external influence.


Q:        Do you see any good in the present government?

A: I don’t. They have deceived the people by lying to them. But now the people understand it very well. Deceiving the people is the most indecent thing the politicians could do in politics. They were able to secure the votes by lying to the people. Today, there are double faced characters in the UNP. To win the local government elections the Maithri faction is still grilling Mahinda Rajapaksa. The public must be made aware of this. I would like to ask the people to look at the policies before voting.


Q: Are you disappointed with politics with all these problems?

A: I am not a person who gets disappointed with anything. I have faced both good and bad things in life. I do not wish to live and die as a useless human being.


Q:  What is your opinion about the way the country has progressed over the past two years?

A:   I am sorry to say but this government has failed to do anything. Because of them we have been prevented from serving the public. What we had started has been dismantled by this government. Sometimes they are continuing them by fixing their names into them. They are not even inviting us to these opening ceremonies. All representatives of the people must be able to execute their obligations to the public. I have done what I can. So I am not in indebted to the country.


Q: What is the reason for delaying the local council election?

A:  Delaying the local council election is only going to increase the problems of the country. Soon it will end up in bloodshed. This government has turned the political system of the country upside down. There is no unity even inside the government. Even those who crossed over to the government from our side are waiting to join us any time.


Q: So do you think that with all these problems, the next few years would go on without any result?

A:  When the government gives the pregnant mothers contaminated nutritious food, when the Samurdhi, elderly allowances are scrapped, when the cost of living is increased and when the war heroes are imprisoned, how can the government survive? If they had rounded up the thieves as they have promised then they have nothing to be afraid of. But with what the government is doing now, in the future we will not be able to face any problem that affects country’s security. Soon everyone will be quiet.


2 Comments for “Politics Broke Up My Marriage – Geetha Kumarasinghe”

  1. Dayaratne Gamage

    Hon Mrs Githakumarathunge is highly misled by her legal advisers to make money

    Dual Citizen can’t be a member of parliament according to basic law of this country approved by2/3 majority of the Parliament which is supreme authority

    She has so far not proved ., she is not a dual Citizen If she can’t do that it is wast of money and time

  2. Lima


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