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Sri Lanka Navy renews efforts to grab 617 acres of Tamil land for ‘Gotabaya Navy Base’

The Sri Lankan navy has stepped up land grab operations in Mullaitivu, redoubling efforts to seize 617 acres of private land which was gazetted in 2017 for appropriation for the construction of 'Vattuvakal Gotabaya Navy base'.

In 2018, the navy abandoned land surveying attempts in response to successful protests organised by the Tamil landowners. Then Northern Province Council members M. K. Sivajilingam and T. Ravikaran were arrested by Mullaitivu police for their involvement.

A letter dated July 8 was sent to land owners by the Mullaitivu District Surveyor, P. Navajivan stating the land would be surveyed under the Land Acquisition Act by order of the Ministry of Land and Parliamentary Reforms, despite year long protests. Residents were told to visit the Mullivaikkal East Grama Niladhari Division on July 29 with their land titles to identify the boundaries and details of their property for the construction of the navy base.

Tamil land in the North East continues to be seized for military purposes, despite over twelve years having passed since the end of the armed conflict, with an increase in incidents of Tamil residents facing intimidation and displacement.

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