President issues instructions to expedite release of lands in the North

(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) –Sri Lanka President Maithripala Sirisena has issued instructions to expedite the process of releasing lands acquired by the military in the North and East to the rightful owners.

The President has instructed relevant authorities to identify the extent of land in the North which could be further cleared without affecting the national security, the President’s Media Office said yesterday (Aug 28).

President Sirisena has given these instructions at a meeting with the state officials at the Presidential Secretariat this afternoon regarding the release of lands.

The President also stated that the government has worked with commitment during the last five years to return the private and state lands in the North which were under the purview of the Security Forces to the rightful owners.

The President instructed the officials to work with the armed forces to determine the extent of land in the North and identify all lands that could be released without compromising national security. He further instructed the officials to submit a report on the matter to the Northern Province Governor before October 01.

The President further said that everyone should accept military camps are necessary to ensure national security. That necessity has been experienced recently with the Easter Sunday attacks and there should be security camps for the security of the area and the people, the President stressed.

Sirisena also said that steps would be taken promptly to release all the land that could be cleared and pointed out the possibility of resolving all problems through negotiations.

The President also instructed the government to expedite compensation to landowners if security forces require private lands.

During the discussion, security officials have informed the President that 80.98 percent of state lands and 90.73 percent of private lands which had been acquired during the war have been released so far.

Northern Province Governor Suren Raghavan, Tamil National Alliance MPs including MP Mavai Senathirajah, Secretary to the President Anura R. Seneviratne, Defense Secretary General (Retd.) Shantha Kottegoda, Commanders of the Armed Forces, Chief of Defense Staff and other officials were present at the discussion.

During the discussion, security officials have informed the President that 80.98 percent of state lands and 90.73 percent of private lands which had been acquired during the war have been released so far. Northern Province Governor Suren Raghavan, Tamil National Alliance MPs including MP Mavai Senathirajah, Secretary to the President Anura R. Seneviratne, Defense Secretary General (Retd.) Shantha Kottegoda, Commanders of the Armed Forces, Chief of Defense Staff and other officials were present at the discussion.

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