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SLPP Parlimentarian accused of land grab in Kalpitiya

28 Feb 2024 - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}      

By Nirmala Kannangara

Puttalam District SLPP Parliamentarian Chinthaka Mayadunna is accused of being involved in land grabbing in Kalpitiya to distribute amongst the Muslim and Tamil communities, eyeing their votes at the upcoming elections.

Mayadunna and his Secretary Mendis have instigated the Muslim and Tamil communities in the area to trespass private lands promising them ownership to these lands.

Meanwhile, Acting Divisional Secretary (ADS) Kalpitiya, S. Nandasena too has come under severe criticism for aiding and abetting Mayadunna in his misdeeds. It is reported that two workers working on a 43 acre land belonging to Shirani Kotalawela had been chased away by the ADS claiming that they did not have any authority to work on ‘state’ land.

In order to prove that this is a state land and did not belong to any private party, last week, Nandasena had got the Survey’s Department to survey the land seeking a conformation on its ownership.

On the instructions of Mayadunna and Mendis over 200 Muslim and Tamil villagers have encroached on Kotalawela’s land which overlooks the Kalpitiya lagoon on Saturday night.

“My two workers have been chased away by the ADS. What is the authority he has to chase away my workers? When I got the news about the encroachment I immediately sent my Attorney-at-Law, Charitha Gunaratne from Colombo to attend to it,” she said.

Attorney-at-Law, Charitha Gunaratne told this newspaper how Mendis was amongst the villagers on Kotalawela’s land when he visited the scene on Sunday morning.

“I got the Kalpitiya police to the scene and the police arrested 13 villagers who were in the land destroying the land demarcation. Mendis who was instrumental by MP Mayadunna fled the land before the police came. The 13 villagers who were arrested were produced before the Puttalam Magistrate and were granted bail with strict bail conditions- strictly prohibiting them from entering the property. I told the Magistrate that it was MP Mayadunna and his Secretary Mendis who were behind this move,” Gunaratne said.

When contacted ADS what action he has taken to prevent land grabbing in the area, he said that he requested the Survey’s Department to survey the land in question and was awaiting their report.

“There is no proof to prove that this is a private land. Hence I am expecting the Survey’s Department to send me a report whether this is a state or a private land,” the ADS S. Nandasena said.

When MP Chinthaka Mayadunna was contacted to find out why he is instigating villagers to grab lands, Mayadunna said that he had not given any such instruction nor has he ever engaged in any illegal activity.

“I am clueless about this incident. I don’t know anything about land grabbing at Kalpitiya,” he said.

OIC Kalpitiya IP Edirisinghe was not available for a comment.