Rights groups request Prez to release lands by Dec.31

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The People’s Alliance for the Right to Land (PARL), in a letter to the President had urged him to keep his promise to release all lands in the North and East by December 31, 2018. The letter has been signed by 47 displaced persons from the North and East and endorsed by 132 concerned individuals and organisations. 

“Many of the displaced communities from the North, are also currently facing great hardship because of the recent floods, resulting in further displacement, damage to property and possessions and the destruction of their paddy lands and the resultant loss of livelihoods. Particularly, in light of their continued suffering, we have called upon the President, to fulfil his promise to the people and let them return home in time to usher in the New Year.  On October 4, 2018, the Presidential Media Division reported that, President Maithripala Sirisena had instructed the authorities to complete the process of releasing the lands in the Northern and Eastern Provinces to their original owners before December 31 after resolving all outstanding issues.

We, whose lands have been taken away from us forcibly and are still suffering immensely nearly ten years after the end of the war, demand that you keep this promise and ensure that authorities abide by instructions you gave them several months ago.   
We also demand that the Prime Minister and leaders of all political parties and alliances support this fully and demand that the President implement this decision.   We appreciate that the government has released some occupied lands to different communities in the last several years, but are deeply disappointed that there has been inadequate resettlement assistance and other restrictions and obstructions they have faced which have hampered their resettlement.   

To assist you, we attach a short briefing and summary of 15 cases (not exhaustive) that was submitted to the government on August 29, 2018, by the People’s Alliance for Right to Land (PARL) after a discussion on land held at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute on August 21, where representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs also participated. We also attach the submission made by PARL in relation to land in July 2018, with regard to Reparations Act, before the Act was enacted.”

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