It is reported that the government has decided to acquire under the Land Acquisition Act all lands being used for Army camps in the North and the High Security Zones for expansion of the army camps.
It is further reported that the Ministry of Defense has already made a request in this connection to the Ministry of Lands and Land Development, and the extent of land due to be acquired amounts to more than 2000 acres.
As the first step of acquiring these lands to the government a gazette notification is to be issued earmarking these lands as lands to be acquired by the government and after that surveying of these lands is to be carried out.
The Tamil National Alliance filed a Basic Rights violation petition (No. SCFR 646/2003) in the Supreme Court in 2003 against maintaining of lands belonging to the Tamil people in the North as High Security Zones and the Supreme Court issued an interim order in 2006 stating that resettlements in these lands should be made immediately after that these lands are demined.
The Tamil National Alliance alleges that the security forces are acting in violation of this Supreme Court order.
The Parliamentarians of the Tamil National Alliance said although that land mines have now being removed completely the Army has not issued certificates saying that these lands have been demined. He said that the Army is misleading the Courts by this act and asked if the lands are not demined how the Army can operate in these areas.
In response to an enquiry made in this connection the commander of the North Major General Mahinda Hathurusinghe said half of the work relating to the expansion of the Airport has now been completed. These activities are being carried out by removing the land mines. There are more land mines to be removed. Steps have been taken to obtain about 2000 acres for our future activities. We have informed the Defense Ministry about this. In the future we are planning to acquire private lands under the rules and regulations of the government and to pay compensation for the lands that will be acquired.
The Tamil National Alliance Parliamentarian Mavai Senadirajah said that people have not been resettled in 24 Grama Seva Divisions of the Walikamam North area. ( Ravaya)