Colombo, March 30 (IANS) Sri Lanka's immigration authorities has granted dual citizenship to 1,750 expatriates, a minister said on Thursday.
Internal Affairs Minister S.B. Navinna told Xinhua news agency that there were as many as 23,000 expatriates who applied for dual citizenship, but only 1,750 could secure the chance this time.
He said the government, formed after the 2015 presidential election, decided to give this right to Sri Lankans domiciled abroad so that they could stake a claim to their motherland.
The minister said these expats were forced to flee the country at different points in the past due to the conflict.
"Now the conflict is over. They can come and live here if they choose to. They are given all the rights as citizens of this country," he said.
A function was held in Colombo by the department of immigration and emigration on Thursday to mark the distribution of dual citizenship certificates.