The Army has announced that the Army will continue to occupy 1,200 acre of people’s lands in Northern and Eastern Provinces.
Elaborating further the Army has said that, around 25,000 acre had been handed over to the people from January 2015 to date. Lands that do not pose any threat to National Security had been handed over to the people like this.
As per the directive of President Maithripala Sirisena , a 5 year-project to estimate the lands so released was inaugurated by the Army in 2015. Under this project around 95% of the lands had been released. Only 5% of them remain to be released.
The released lands were handed over to the people who had been resettled at areas including Palaly, Kilinochchi, Mulaitrheevu, Kepapilavu and Myliddy.
The President had issued a directive to hand over the lands before 312st December 2018. 84,509 acre were under the control of the Army up to 2009.
However, after December 31st the Army will continue to occupy 12,000 acre. These lands will not be released due to Security and other reasons, the Army said.
However the people around the areas said that, now that the war is over what security reason could remain and that the ‘other reasons’ may include, incomes from agriculture by the Army in the fertile soils of the people, breeding cattle of the people and cultivation of cash crops like algae ( as around Iranaitheevu for example) and settlements of Army families.