Sri Lanka

President instructs to release lands without impeding national security

President Maithripala Sirisena instructed relevant officials to take steps to release lands without creating any hindrance to national security.During the last five years the government took special efforts to release private lands which were under the control of the military to their owners following the end of the armed conflict, said the President.

The President instructed the officials to estimate the extent of lands and release them appropriately with the consultation of the security forces and to submit a report before October 1st to the Governor of the Northern Province.The President gave these directives during a discussion on releasing lands in North held at the President’s Officeyesterday (28).The President further stated that everyone should be aware that army check-points and camps are prerequisites to ensure national security. The Easter Sunday terror attacks highlighted the importance of this measure said the President while adding security camps should be in place for the security of the area and its population.

Measures to release lands which are not strategically important to national security will be expedited and issues related to this process can be resolved through discussion, the President added.If acquisition of private lands is required for security purposes, compensation should be paid to the owners without any delay, President Sirisena said.

Officials of the armed forces revealed that so far 80.98% of the state lands and 90.73% of private lands acquired by the army during the armed conflict have been released.The Governor of the Northern Province SurenRaghavan, Parliament members of TNA including MavaiSenathirajah, Secretary to the President Udaya R. Seneviratne, Secretary to the Ministry of Defence Major Gen. ShanthaKottegoda, Chief of Defence Staff, Commanders of tri-forces and several other security chiefs joined the discussion.