By Eunice Ruth
General Secretary of the Lanka Jathika Estate Workers’ Union, Vadivel Suresh said the Ministry of Plantation Industries cannot send eviction notices to residential areas which have been registered on or before 27 October 1989.
“At present, plantation companies and the Ministry of Plantation Industries are planning to invade lands of upcountry people where they have cultivated and lived for a long period of time. The upcountry people are being cheated on a daily basis by given fake promises and their basic rights are violated continuously.
An agreement has been signed by the Ministry of Plantation Industries with 22 plantation companies under the Janatha Estates Development Board (JEDB) and the State Plantation Corporation (SPC), before leasing the estates. According to that, eviction notices cannot be sent to unoccupied lands and residential lands which were registered on or before 27 October 1989. However, eviction notices have been sent to residents by the Ministry of Plantation Industries recently insisting that they move out. This is currently happening in Haputale, Ella, Demodara, and Lunugala estate areas,” said Suresh.
He further said upcountry people have contributed a lot to the national economy. “However, without considering anything, the Government and plantation companies are trying to steal the properties of these people.”
Suresh pointed out that they will not allow anyone to steal the properties of innocent people and the Government should immediately desist from this activity.
“The Government and plantation companies should stop controlling the lives of upcountry people. If not, we will take necessary action to stop it,” he added.