[ Some IDPs in the North lives in abject poverty; File photo ]
(LBO) – Sri Lanka new administration is to return lands and buildings which occupied by the military troops in the time of Tamil tiger war for security reasons, a spokesman said today.
“Government policy is to return property covers the entire island, not only the north,” D. M. Swaminadan, Minister of Resettlement, Reconstruction and Hindu Religious Affairs, said at a press conference.
The properties and lands in the north and east were taken over by military troops to provide defense against the attacks by Tamil tigers.
About 1000 acres from Palay area in Jaffna which was maintained by the Sri Lanka Army and the Sri Lanka Air Force as high security zones were decided to release in different stages.
As the first step of this measure, the government will release 220 acres in Valikamam East Divisional Secretariat Division to establish a modern village for resettlement of 1,022 families displaced by the 30 year Tamil tiger war. Each family is to get 20 perch land and financial to construct a house under this project.
The modern village will also have a school, a preschool, a hospital, religious places and a community center.
The minister said the remaining 780 acres of land will also be used to resettle the people displaced by the war.
Plantations Industries Minister Lakshman Kiriella said the military had occupied over 11,000 acres during the war.
“The former regime also had released some lands and now it’s down to about 6,000 acres of which we will release another 1,000 acres,” he said.
“People living in refugee camps have deeds in Jaffna but they are in camps because their properties are occupied by the security forces.”
The government will also release the lands of 500 acres under the control of the Air Force in the Panama area in the Eastern Province to land less people in the area except the 25 acres of land in which buildings are now being constructed.
Buildings in high security zones adjoining the President’s House and the prime minister’s ‘Temple Trees’ resident also will be released