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Sri Lanka sends in army to farm 'unattended land'

The Sri Lankan army announced it was undertaking a “gigantic project of national and timely importance” by sending in soldiers to farm fruit and vegetables across the island, as a food crisis hits.

The military, which admits to already running at least 16 farms, will now take on an even greater role in the agricultural sector, said the army.

Sri Lanka has already come under criticism for its intense militarisation of civilian life, particularly in the North-East, with The Economist stating in 2020 that the president was “putting soldiers in charge of everything”.

With the latest announcement however, that role is set to increase, with the military looking to take over and farm “unattended lands”.

According to an official military press release, the army will farm “1,500 acres of barren or abandoned state lands” but it did not identify where these areas were located.

Tamils in the North-East have for decades attempted to fight back against Sri Lankan military land grabs, with the security forces continuing to occupy vast swathes of land in the North-East.

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