October 19, 2019
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Since Maithirpala Sirisena became President in January last year, 2,175.5 acres in the North and 1,055 acres in the East have been returned to owners or made available for resettlement. Giving an account of the government’s plan on resettlement of internally displaced persons (IDPs), the official said that 65 hectares have been identified in Kankesanthurai to resettle landless people. The President has been “closely monitoring” the situation and “accelerating” the process of return, he added. Chairing a meeting with senior officials of the Ministries of Defence and Lands on Sunday, Mr. Sirisena asked them to complete, by Friday (June 3), the identification of land for resettlement of the IDPs in the North. Recently, the Resettlement Ministry made public the final draft of national policy on durable solutions for conflict-affected displacement, which has emphasised the release and return of land occupied by the security forces and the police to original owners or former occupants. It underscored the need for the release and return of all land, particularly private, “urgently unless the State determines that it is required for public purpose”. (Colombo Gazette) The Sri Lankan Army is planning to return shortly 400 acres of land in the Northern Province to its owners, according to a senior government official, The Hindu newspaper reported.This includes 200 acres in Tellipalai, Jaffna. Asked how soon the release of lands will take place, the official at the Resettlement Ministry said:“It may be in a few weeks.”

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