The Sri Lankan Navy and the STF have illegally acquired 1,220 acres of forest, wetland and agricultural lands at Panama and Shrastrawela in Luhugala, Ampara, alleges the Environment Conservation Trust.

In a statement, ECT says these lands have been cleared and several constructions, including a village for soldiers, a Navy camp and a hotel complex, are coming up there.

Due to these acquisitions, effected in violation of several legislations, Tamil villagers are unable to engage in their livelihood, which is farming and the damage to the environment is also huge, it says.

The ECT urges authorities to return these lands to the villagers.

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