5000 acres of land belonging to civilians are occupied by the Army
By Niranjala Ariyawansha
Governor of the Northern Province H.M.G.S. Palihakkara told Ceylon Today that the Northern Provincial Council has come to an agreement with the government, opening the way for the settlement of families from all nationalities in the Northern Province. This includes Tamils, Sinhalese and Muslims who had lived in the North prior to the commencement of the war.
Palihakkara said steps will be taken to restore several acres of land which the Army had been using in Valikamam West, in the Northern Province, to their rightful owners who lived there prior to being displaced by the war.
Meanwhile, another 41,000 IDPs, who were displaced by the war, still live in eight camps and with friends and relatives.
Land belonging to civilians had been acquired by the Army during the war on the basis of a policy decision of the government.
He added Grama Niladharies in the Northern Province at Grama Niladhari Divisional Level are gathering information on all residents who had lived in the above mentioned properties prior to the war.
“In 2009 at the time that the war ended, the Army had possession of 12,000 acres of land in the Northern Province alone. The previous government from time to time returned some of this land to the original residents or owners. Another 1000 acres in Sampur were returned to the original owners by the new government. Only 5000 acres of land belonging to civilians are occupied by the Army” Palihakkara said.