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Mannar civil society accuses SL army of obstructing initiative

The Mannar Citizens Committee has accused the Sri Lankan army of obstructing an awareness initiative by on laws relating to land, which the MCC created in view of the arbitrary occupation of land by the army.

In a statement published on the 11th June 2013, the MCC Said that it "strongly feel[s] this needs to be inquired into, and those [who are] responsible at all levels held accountable. If not, such unlawful intrusions by the military into activities of the government officials, as well as civil society, will continue."

The MCC outlined the allegations as follows:

"On the first day, 30th May 2013, an intelligence officer of the Army had come to seminar, but the President of the MCC had told him that this was a program dealing with purely civil matters and that his presence was disturbing. He had left without saying any word.

On the third day (1st June 2013) we were awaiting for the officers from the Divisional Secretariats, when the Addl.GA telephoned and informed the Secretary of the MCC that the Divisional Secretaries were instructed not to send the officials for the program based on the orders of the Army Headquarters in Mannar. Although the Resource Persons and the organizers waited for long time not a single government official came for the workshop. The Chief Resource Person, an retired Assistant Land Commissioner (a former senior government official) was surprised at this and remarked that the officials from the Mannar District Secretariat were allowed to participate in the workshop on the same topic held by him on the previous day. The other Resource person, an Attorney at Law, too expressed the same opinion."

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