The Government hopes to have legislation approved in Parliament next week providing for war affected people in the North to obtain ownership to their land which they had abandoned even if it was for more than ten years because of the conflict.
According to the present Law of Prescriptive Rights, a person cannot claim the right to his land if it has been abandoned for more than ten years. However, the Act is to be amended to exempt those who had been forced to abandoned their land during the 30-year conflict. The problem is acute in the North and East.
These people encountered difficulties in claiming their lands due to restrictions in the present law. In the East, thousands of acres of paddy land could not be cultivated during the war. The new legislation, if enacted, will bring benefits especially to Sri Lankan refugees returning to the country.
The new legislation is listed for debate in the House next week. (Kelum Bandara)