Jan 24, 2019

Claim of N-E land return disputed Featured

Activists challenge a presidential claim that the military has returned 90 per cent of the land it had occupied in the northern and eastern provinces to their owners, says radiogagana.com.

At a meeting last month, the presidential task force said 79.01 pc of state-owned and 90.02 pc of privately-owned land in the two provinces were released.

Disputing the statistics, coordinator of the North-Eastern Fisheries Solidarity Movement Anton Jesudasan told journalists in Colombo that thousands of acres of land at Mullikulam, Pallimunai, Ashroff Nagar and Kepapulav and other areas were still under the military.

The Secretariat for Coordinating Reconciliation Mechanisms quoting Defence Ministry statistics said 74 pc of land were released by the end of last year.

It said 30,187 acres of land were yet to be returned.

Jesudasan said the land belonged traditionally and had deeds.

Sajeewa Chamikara of the National Land Reforms Movement said the Defence Ministry as well as the Tourism Development Authority, Archeology, Wildlife And Wildlife Conservation Departments and the Geological Survey and Mines Bureau were illegally occupying northeastern land.

Land returned here and there cannot be productively utilized by the people, he said.

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