President instructs Task Force to accelerate releasing of remaining military acquired land
The issue of releasing military acquired land in the Northern and Eastern Provinces was the main topic when the Presidential Task Force on development of North and East chaired by the President Maithripala Sirisena met Wednesday.
The release of military acquired lands in the North and East has been accelerated following the establishment of the Special Task force for the development of North and East Province, the security forces stated at the meeting.
After the establishment of the Task Force, 6,951 acres of land in the two provinces have been released with support of all parties including the Governors of the Northern and Eastern Provinces, and another 475 acres of land will be released in the near future.
The Task Force was established in August last year by the President to expedite the development of the North and the East that suffered during the long drawn conflict.
During the meeting, attention was focused on the issues and suggestions presented by political representatives of the areas in the Northern and Eastern Provinces.
The President also instructed the two governors of the two provinces to intervene in the matter and discuss the issue with the military authorities to expedite the issues. He instructed the relevant officials to submit any issues beyond their control to the task force in future.
At the end of the humanitarian operation in 2009, nearly 84,675 acres of land in the North and the East remained with the security forces. The de-mining process to clear lands of mines was accelerated after President Sirisena assumed office in January 2015 and by now 71,178 acres of land out of the total has been released.
Accordingly, 13,497 acres of land is in the custody of the security forces, of which 11,039 acres of land are state owned lands. A further 475 acres of land will be released in the coming days.
Accordingly, out of the land in the custody of the Security Forces in the North and East, 81 percent of the state lands and 90 percent of private lands belonging to the private sector have been released.
The President instructed the officials to release the rest of the lands in an accelerated manner and to expedite the payment of compensation.
The leader of the Tamil National Alliance, R. Sampanthan and political representatives, Governor of the Northern Province Dr. Suren Raghavan, Governor of the Eastern Province, Mr. M.L.A.M. Hizbullah, Secretary to the President Udaya R. Senevirathne and the state officials, three commanders of the armed forces and the IGP were also present at this meeting.