To be moved at adjournment time on 8th March 2017:
Whereas large swaths of lands belonging to private citizens were occupied by the armed forced when fighting came to an end in May 2009:
Most of these lands were taken over from the civilians for security purposes. For instance civilians were evicted from several thousand acres of land in Valigamam North in order to protect the Palaly air base from artillery fire almost 25 years ago. But even after the fighting ended in 2009, only a fraction of that has been returned for civilian resettlement, while large tracts of land are still occupied by the military, which is engaged in farming and trade, including running tourist hotels, while the original occupants languish in welfare centres and with host families.
In the Vanni too, still several thousands of acres of land are occupied by the security forces. Although some land were released in Keppapulavu recently by the Airforce, more lands are still occupied by the Army.
The people have been staging agitations in front of these lands urging the government to let them re-occupy their land. This was a promise given to the people by President Maithripala Sirisena before the Presidential Election of January 2015. People have patiently waited for over two years and now are justifiably demanding that the government keep to its promise and release these lands.
We urge the government to take quick action in the regard and release all land that is occupied by the security forces, in which civilians lived prior to hostilities breaking out, be returned to the original inhabitants without any further delay.