A three judge Bench of the Supreme Court on Friday rendered the Gazette notofication inoperative until May 21.
The court suspended then gazette following a petition filed by Sri Lanka Gateway Industries.
The petitioner said the land was leased to them by the Board of Investment. TNA Parliamentarian M.A. Sumanthiran told the Daily News yesterday that they have decided to intervene in the matter as the rights of the people who were living in these lands had been affected by the stay order given by the Supreme Court.
Sumanthiran observed that 825 families are affected by the stay order. The MP said a case filed by the original land owners challenging the decision to take over their
lands to put up an economic zone was still pending before the Supreme Court. He observed the next hearing date of this case has been fixed for June. Sumanthiran noted the moves to return the lands in Sampur in Trincomalee to the original owners were done consequent to a Cabinet decision on February 25.
“The displaced people and we were not notified on the petition filed by Sri Lanka Gateway Industries (SLGI).
The stay order was given keeping us out. On the other hand, in 2008 there was an assurance to the Supreme Court on the return of lands to the original owners after the clearance of land mines.
Again in October 2011, then Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa gave an assurance to Parliament that only the land required for the Sampur Coal Power Plant supported by India would be taken, and the other land held by the state in Sampur would be released for the resettlement of displaced people.
The solemn undertaking given to the Supreme Court and Parliament must be respected,” he said.
The MP observed the gazette notification was issued by President Maithripala Sirisena honouring the promises given by the previous government.
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