ITAK must act to revoke Gazette notifications, transfer Land Commissioner in East

[TamilNet, Saturday, 30 March 2019, 20:21 GMT]
SL President Maithiripala Sirisena has only revoked one of the Gazette notifications that had been issued by his predecessor Mahinda Rajapaksa who had seized the lands of Tamils in Champoor. After the revocation of Gazette notification of transferring lands to SL Board of Investment under the Urban Development Act (UDA), the people resettled. However, a previous Gazette notification, which was made by Mr Rajapaksa who acquired the lands of the people under an urgency clause of the Land Acquisition Act (LAA), remains in force. Although repeated requests were made by Moothoor Divisional Secretary to re-issue necessary land permits to the people who had owned these lands for decades, Provincial Land Commissioner of the Eastern Province D.D. Anura Dharmadhasa has been blocking the move citing the initial Gazette notification, say Tamil-speaking Muslim officials at Moothoor DS.

The Provincial Land Commissioner, a Sinhalese, is also behind allocating lands to Sinhala Buddhist monks in the Trincomalee district, the officials further said.

The initial seizure of Champoor lands was made under the section 38A of the LAA.

The resettled people, without proper land documents, face the danger of losing their lands again if Rajapaksa comes to power, the officials warned.

In the meantime, Tamil activists who have been demanding the ITAK, particularly R. Sampanthan who hails from the district, to address the concerns of Champoor people, said that the ITAK leaders have time and again failed to ensure the revocation of the LAA-based Gazette notification.

The ITAK must be pressurised from all corners to get the LAA-based Gazette notification revoked and to install a provincial land commissioner, who is capable of carrying out duties without racial or ethnic bias in the Eastern province, they said.


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