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Govt. Quashes Colonization Canard

by Chaminda Perera, Daily News, Colombo, October 24, 2011

The minister said the government has no plans to colonize such areas in the Northern Province though every citizen is entitled to live anywhere under the country’s law.

The Daily News is owned by the Government of Sri Lanka.

*Citizens free to live anywhere

*No outsiders allowed to be resettled

Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa categorically denied allegations in certain quarters with vested interests that the government is in the process of colonizing areas in the North which are inhabited by members of both the Tamil and Sinhala communities.

The minister said the government has no plans to colonize such areas in the Northern Province though every citizen is entitled to live anywhere under the country’s law.


Minister 
Basil Rajapaksa

He stressed that the government resettled only those who had lived in the Northern Province and no outsiders were allowed to be resettled in the area.

The minister added that the Weli Oya Divisional Secretariat in the Mullaitivu District was brought under the administration of Anuradhapura District Secretariat during the conflict.

Minister Rajapaksa added that this DS Division no longer requires to be kept under Anuradhapura District Secretariat as the conflict is over and the government has decided to bring it under the purview of Mullaitivu DS.

Minister Rajapaksa added that certain quarters are trying to mislead the public by saying that this move is a part of the government’s programme for colonizing the Tamil dominated areas in the North with Sinhala citizens.

“It is the Sinhalese and the Muslims who face injustices in resettlement. We did not resettle a single Muslim or Sinhala family in the areas where Tamils were living,” he added.

‘The government does not have any intention of colonizing areas where Tamil people live,’ he explained. The minister explained how the government brought the Mangalagama DS Division in the Batticaloa District under the administration of the Ampara District Secretariat during the height of the conflict.

The minister said that certain quarters were skeptical over the process of land registration in the Northern Province.

The minister stressed that the process being implemented by the government in the Northern Province ensures people’s ownership of their lands.

Title deeds of many lands were destroyed in the war. These documents cannot be traced at the Land Registry too. The new process will guarantee the people’s ownership of their land, he said.

Minister Rajapaksa said that the second phase of this programme titled ‘Bim Saviya’ would ensure every landowner of the Northern Province a title deed, a plan and all documents related to their landownership and this programme would also be implemented in the Northern Province.

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See

Chapter 23: Manal Aru Becomes Weli Oya

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Representation by Tamils in eastern province to the hearing of Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission is worth mentioning. K.Gurunathar, former Director of Lands in the united North-Eastern province reported to the commission that “a lot of lands in Trincomalee had been taken over by various government departments for department projects. While this might be necessary the Tamils were finding it difficult to secure land….That lands, supposedly taken over for public purposes or for state backed activities were being handed over to new Sinhalese settlers…Sinhalese settlers had illegally and forcibly occupied lands on both sides of the 50km new road between Seruwila Buddha Vihara and Somapala Vihar.” Probe Panel told about Tamils losing lands, The New Indian Express, Chennai Print Edition, October 14, 2010.