Home Affairs, North Western Development and Culture Minister S.B. Navinna yesterday, invited all Sri Lankans domiciled overseas to witness for themselves the change and social transformation that has taken place in the country after the new government came into power.
Thousands of Sri Lankans have been made permanent residents of foreign countries due to many reasons that included the conditions that prevailed in the country in the past such as education, employment and marriage.
He said that these Sri Lankans are eager to return to their motherland and the programme to grant dual citizenship to such Sri Lankans was initiated to provide them a chance to come to their motherland without any obstacle.
The minister was speaking at the granting of dual citizenship to over thousands of Sri Lankans at the BMICH yesterday.
“This programme was not in operation since 2011. The present government initiated this programme and would continue with it,” he said.
He said President Maithiripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe decided to provide an opportunity to those who left their motherland to be domiciled in foreign countries for numerous reasons.
“The number of applications received to the Ministry seeking dual citizenship shows the enthusiasm of those Sri Lankans domiciled in foreign countries to return to their motherland,” he said.
He said that those who return to their motherland could remain in the country till their visas expire. “By granting them dual citizenship, these Sri Lankans could remain in the country and invest their hard earned money for worthy causes,” he said.
The Immigration and Emigration Controller M.N. Ranasinghe also spoke.