Although the Ministry of Defence had instructed the Army to hand over the private lands in Atchuvely South, which currently used by the Army, the Army has not done so to date. The owners of the said lands said that the Army should get out of their without cheating them further and they had demanded that Army be removed from their lands and the lands be handed over to them.
Elaborating further they said that, when the people of the area were displaced in 1996, 3 acre land belonging to 9 families and the Cooperative buildings were occupied by the Army.We are struggling from 2012 with relevant Officials and Ministries without any results. Already, attempts were made to survey our lands thrice, but every time the attempt was foiled due to our opposition. The Cooperative officials are not interested in getting back the land. Only we are affected.
After we have filed a petition in Colombo Courts, declared in courts on 2015 December that the “Land acquisition is abandoned”. The Secretary of the Defence Ministry had informed the Army HQ to hand over the said lands and provide a report about it to him.
During the early part of 2016 the Army said to us that they will stay one more month and vacate the lands and asked us for a consent letter for that. We asked to give a letter stating that they would vacate the lands in one month and stay there. But no such letter was forthcoming. Seven months have passed. No action has been taken to release the lands. The relevant authorities should take interest and get our lands released, after which we could meet lot of our needs, they said.