Army compensated for vacating Mullaitivu land

A 300 day protest staged by  a group of Tamil villagers from Mullaitivu demanding that the army vacate their 133 acres home land at Keppapilavu in the former LTTE stronghold Mullaitivu had been brought to an end by relocating troops stationed there, Rehabilitation Ministry spokesperson told The Island. The group of villagers had launched the protest early this year demanding their land back.

Rehabilitation Minister D. M. Swaminathan following consultations with relevant authorities, paid Rs. 148 mn for the relocation of troops. The land would be officially handed over today (Dec 28) to the Tamil villagers who owned it, he said. The Rehabilitation Ministry announced the latest arrangement with the Army amidst efforts by the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) to return the land to its owners. TNA leader and Opposition Leader R. Sampanthan has sought President Maithripala Sirisena’s intervention several times to secure the release of land held by the Army.  who refused to hand over the land to its owners.

According to the Rehabilitation Ministry, since the change of government in 2015, the armed forces had released altogether 37,427 acres in the Jaffna peninsula (3,660 acres), Killinochchi (24,174 acres), Mullaitivu (4,507 acres), Mannar (1,709 acres), Vavuniya (1,496 acres), Ampara (549 acres),Trincomalee (323 acres) and Batticaloa (1,005 acres).

Out of the total of 133.34 acres released yesterday, 111.05 acres in Keppapilavu were released to 68 landowners and the remaining 21.84 acres were given to 17 landowners in Seeniyamottai village to whom the land belonged. The ministry said that in accordance with instructions issued by the National Election Commission (NEC) pertaining to February 10 Local Government elections, Minister Swaminathan wouldn’t be able to attend the handing over ceremony at Keppapilavu.

As of 1st of March 2016, the military was occupying 67,427 acres of land belonging to the Tamil civilians in the Northern Province. During the previous government of Mahinda Rajapaksa, in the North alone, nearly 70,000 acres of land was under occupation. Since the change of government in January 2015, just over 2,500 acres of these lands has been released. This constitutes a mere 3.6% of the total land taken over in the North by the Sri Lankan military says the British Tamil Forum in UK.

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Army releases another 133 acres of land in North to owners | FT Online

www.ft.lk › News

2 hours ago – The Sri Lanka Army, in keeping with the new Government’s policy to release more security forcesheld land to civilians, has released another 133 acres in the Mullaitivu District used by the armed forces for security purposes. The Army at a ceremony held yesterday released a land area of 133.34 acres in Keppapilavu in the …