(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) –Sri Lanka Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has pledged to hand land deeds to all Sri Lankans despite obstacles.
The Prime Minister said that certain organizations have opposed the granting of freehold land to the people under the present government but no one will be allowed to stop this right of the people. He stressed that action would be taken to give free land to the people despite this opposition.
Speaking at a function held Sunday (07) to distribute freehold deeds to over 1,500 people in the Ampara District, in line with the program to hand out one million land deeds, Prime Minister Wickremesinghe said the present administration has taken several steps including the amendment of the Land Act, to ensure the rights of all Sri Lankans to own a plot of land.
Mr. Wickremesinghe further stated that the program to provide one million land deeds throughout the country is being carried out successfully and the objective of the present government is to amend the existing land laws and to give freehold ownership of the land to the people who have been enjoying state land for 10 years. “You can obtain a freehold land through these deeds we offer today. You only need to use a government land continuously for 10 years to own it. It took us more than two years to draft the bill and get it approved to give this huge concession to people. But we have finally succeeded.”
“Two organizations are now trying to sue to stop this. We are taking measures to give the land rights enjoyed by the millionaires and billionaires in the country to the ordinary people. No one can stop or delay it.”
“If you are good enough to develop the country then you should have the right to land. I say that we should take to the streets to get it,” the Prime Minister said.
The Premier said previous United National Party-led administrations have been at the forefront of ensuring the rights of rural Sri Lankans and assured to give lands on freehold to all citizens.
The Prime Minister also laid the foundation stone for the first agricultural production processing high zone to be built in Uhana, Ampara.
This project is being implemented under the program of establishing 23 agricultural production processing high zones. It will be built on 107 hectares of land and will generate 10,000 direct employment and ten thousand indirect jobs.
Ministers Gayantha Karunatilaka and Daya Gamage, Deputy Minister Anoma Gamage and Government Agent of Ampara DML Bandara, local and provincial councilors, political representatives, state officials and land owners were also present.