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Land released in North

Sri Lankan military forces are reported to have released lands in different districts across the North-East this year, although they had already failed to meet the Sri Lankan president’s highly publicised deadline to release all occupied lands by December 31, 2018.

On January 22, the Sri Lankan army announced it had released 40.74 acres of state land and 13.64 acres of private land in Vavuniya.

In Mannar, the army handed over documents to the district’s government agent (GA) on January 29, confirming the release of 4.5 acres used by 54 and 61 divisions.

Army officials told the Mannar GA that 11 acres in Pesalai, 26 acres in Cooray and 5.6 acres in Jeeva Nagar would be released once the army had received money to do so from the government.

In Thiruketheeswaram, buildings belonging to a Hindu women’s organisation which had been used as a women’s shelter and medical centre since 1953 but were occupied by the Sri Lankan army since 1990, were also released.

On February 7, 39.95 acres of land in Karaichi and Kandavalai in the Kilinochchi district were released, of which 21.24 acres were private land.

Meanwhile several land release protests are ongoing across the North-East, including in Keppapulavu where residents have been protesting for two years for the release of their lands.