Information on obtaining Botswana citizenship and the presence of Sri Lankans (refugees or other) in Botswana [BWA4626]

For information on acquisition of Botswana citizenship, please find attached a copy of the 1982 Citizenship Act of Botswana together with the amending acts of 1984 and 1985, as published by Constitutions of the Countries of the World (New York: Oceana Publications, Inc., 1989), and a piece of legislation indicating citizenship requirements for participating in elections for high-level political positions (as published the Botswana Supplement, June 1989, of the same collection).

According to the Embassy of Botswana in Washington, D.C., as communicated to the IRBDC by telephone on this date, there is no other more recent legislation amending the abovequoted.

The UNHCR office in Ottawa had no information corroborating the presence of Sri Lankan refugees in Botswana. A UNHCR officer explained that a small number of asylum seekers of a particular nationality in a country like Botswana may not appear in the currently available statistics. That would also be the case of, for example, the recent arrival of a group not large enough to make headlines and too recent to appear in the statistics currently available to the UNHCR-Ottawa.

The Embassy of Botswana in Washington, D.C., communicated by telephone on 1 May 1990 that according to their "up-to-date" information, there are no Sri Lankans among the registered refugees in Botswana. The Embassy officer stated that all persons claiming refugee status in Botswana would be registered and appear in their statistics.

Information on the subject from the UNHCR headquarters office in Geneva which, according to the U.S. Committee for Refugees (as communicated by telephone on 1 May 1990), has the most precise information on refugees' nationalities in different countries, could not be obtained in time to meet your request's deadline.

Page 25 of the Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 1989 (Washington: U.S. Department of State, 1990) contains some information on the situation of refugees in Botswana, although no specific reference to Sri Lankans could be found in it.

For more information on Botswana's Refugee Policy, please find attached a copy of the World Refugee Report 1989 (Washington, D.C.: Bureau for Refugee Programs, 1989), pp. 10-11.

Information regarding Sri Lankan (non-refugee) nationals residing in Botswana could not be obtained from the sources currently available to the IRBDC. The Encyclopedia of the Third World (New York: Facts on File, Inc., 1987), p. 229, is the only currently available source giving numbers for expatriate non-refugee communities in Botswana. The source, however, makes just a general statement in the case of Asians, indicating there are only "some Asians" in the country.