Controversial Samagi Jana Balawega (SJB) National List Parliamentarian Diana Gamage who shamelessly crossed over to the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) ranks; is being charged of several serious offences that might eventually see lose her seat, Colombo Telegraph can confirm.
Pursuant to a complaint made by United National Party (UNP) Colombo District Candidate Oshala Herath to the Police Criminal Investigations Department (CID), the Officer-in-Charge of the Anti-Human Smuggling Investigation Bureau (ASIB) – Chief Inspector Sugath Amarasinghe, filed a B Report before the Colombo Chief Magistrate and brought to the notice of the Court that it had observed during initial investigations that the controversial MP Gamage is likely to have committed offences deemed punishable under Section 175 of the Ceylon Penal Code (Ordinance No. 2 of 1883) and Sections 45(1)(a) and 45(1)(c) of the Immigrants and Emigrants Act No 20 of 1948 amended by Acts No 16 of 1993, No 42 of 1998 and No 31 of 2006, Colombo Telegraph can exclusive report.
According to the a copy of the B Report which is in the possession of Colombo Telegraph, Gamage has obtained her Passport bearing No N 5091386 dated 24.01.2014 by submitting her National Identity Card bearing NIC No 658534300V issued on 22.12.2004 and Birth Certificate bearing No 6553. In addition, she had obtained from the Department of Immigration and Emigration, an Official Passport bearing No OL 5654794 on 07.08.2018, by submitting the same NIC but a different birth certificate bearing No 4683 as per a request made by the then Additional Secretary of the Ministry of Finance and Media, Ramani Gunawardene along with a letter issued by the then Secretary of the Ministry of Finance and Media, Dr. R. M. S. Samaratunga dated 27th August 2018 addressed to the Controller General of Immigration and Emigration.
Concealed British citizenship
Deputy Controller R. G. C. P. D. Ramawikrama has stated to Police that Gamage has applied for the Sri Lankan passports while having two British passports bearing Nos 09442515 and 521398876 by concealing the fact that she had obtained foreign citizenship (i.e. of the United Kingdom). The Deputy Controller had also stated that by virtue of obtaining a foreign citizenship any person relinquishes his or her Sri Lankan citizenship in terms of the Immigrants and Emigrants Act No 20 of 1948.
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According to the Department’s database Gamage from 10th October 2004 onwards, using her British passport bearing No 521398876, has several times applied for Visa to visit Sri Lanka and had obtained Visa from 27th August 2014 till 16th July 2015, Controller – Visa and Border Control, Ms. J. K. Athukorala had informed the Police.
Gamage has obtained her National Identity Card bearing NIC No 658534300V on 22nd December 2004 by submitting documents stating that she was residing at No 7/9, Sri Nakala Cross Road, Sarikkamulla, Keselwatte, Panadura, as per recorded statements of A. W. H. I. C. Weerakoon, the Deputy Commissioner of the Department for the Registration of Persons. However any Sri Lankan who has obtained dual citizenship must register with the Department within six months of obtaining that citizenship. The regular procedure was to invalidate the existing NIC and issue a new NIC with a new number. But however Gamage has till now failed to inform the Department that she has obtained dual citizenship.
Currently retired, then Secretary of the Ministry of Finance and Media, Dr. R. M. S. Samaratunga giving a statement had said that he has issued a letter under regular official protocols to Gamage as she was then the Chairperson of the Ranminithenna Tele-Cinema Village.
Forged Birth Certificate
However the Additional District Registrar of the Divisional Secretariat, Thimbirigasyaya M. A. J. Karunaratne said that although the division stated in Gamage’s birth certificate bearing No 6553 states that she was issued by the ‘Colombo South Division’, there was no such Division and the birth certificate was a forged document.
According to birth certificate details held at the Dehiwala Division Secretariat, the Birth Certificate bearing No 4683 was issued on 18th December 1965 which stated the names of the father and mother were respectively, Kekunadura Gamage Sirisena and Rita Rohini Maine whilst the baby was named Nayana Samanmali. The name had been subsequently changed to Diana Natasha Kekunadura on 11th December 2003 and again to Diana Gamage on 5th February 2014.
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The Police has requested for further reports from the Sri Lankan High Commission in the United Kingdom.
Furnishing of false document is punishable under Section 175 of the Penal Code which entails a maximum prison term of six months. Legal experts say that Gamage may in addition be charged for preparation of a forged document under Sections 454, 455 and 459 of the Penal Code.
Section 45(1)(a) of the Immigrants and Emigrants Act No 20 of 1948 stipulates that any person who enters or remains in Sri Lanka in contravention of any provision of this Act or of any order or regulation made thereunder whilst Section 45(1)(c) is relation to any person who in reply or in relation to the Minister or any authorized officer or other person lawfully acting in the execution of the provisions of the Act…. makes or causes to be made any false return, false statement or false representation, shall be on conviction be liable to a fine or to imprisonment of either description (i.e. simple imprisonment or rigorous imprisonment) for a term of not less than five years or to both such fine and imprisonment.
Deal with SJB
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Diana Gamage is the lover of Senaka Haripriya de Silva, who was the secretary of former Army commander Sarath Fonseka and a businessman with enterprises in Sri Lanka and abroad. Following the defeat of the Common Opposition Presidential Candidate Gen. Sarath Fonseka at the 2010 Presidential Election, Silva was arrested together with Fonseka for allegedly harbouring 10 Army deserters and provoking them against the state during the presidential polls. The Colombo High Court ordered that Senaka be imprisoned and though he was later released on bail after one year, his passport was impounded.
Silva was the leader of the political party – Ape Jana Balawegaya which was gifted to the Sajith Premadasa Faction when it split from the United National Party and part of the arrangement was to give Silva’s lover – Diana Gamage a National List MP slot in exchange.
She is a member of the Parliament’s House Committee, the Ministerial Consultative Committee on Tourism, the Women Parliamentarians Caucus in Parliament and the Select Committee of Parliament to look into and report to Parliament its recommendations to ensure gender equity and equality with special emphasis on looking into gender based discriminations and violations of women’s rights in Sri Lanka.
During the vote for the controversial 20th Amendment, Gamage switched loyalties along with several other Muslim MPs and joined government ranks which secured the required two thirds majority for the President Gotabaya Rajapaksa-led Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna Government.
Making a historic blooper in the House, MP Gamage in her address to Parliament said that ‘Mark Anthony’ stabbed Julius Caesar proclaiming that “I love Caesar, but I love Rome more!” (Not that I loved Caesar less, but that I loved Rome more) in a miserable bid to justify her crossover. However, historically, it was Brutus who made that statement and NOT Mark Anthony. (By Rashmika Ranasinghe)