Land Concerns

Oct 28, 2011 (LBO) – A citizens group has raised concerns about a new process of resolving and proving ownership of land in former war zones, outside established procedures and the court system. In July 2011, Sri Lanka’s Commissioner General of Lands had issued a circular Regulating the Activities Regarding Management of Lands in the Northern and Eastern Provinces.

“Access to land in the North and the east has been one of the most controversial and politically sensitive issues in Sri Lanka,” Friday Forum, a citizens group said in a discussion paper on the subject.

“Yet this complex subject is now being dealt with in an ad hoc single government circular of the Land Commissioner General based on cabinet approval.”

“This country has well-established laws on the management of State lands and clear principles on ownership and entitlement to private lands.

“The document does not indicate why a new policy has been developed outside of the accepted legal framework.”

The Friday forum is a group of citizens which includes academics, retired public and private sector officials and economists.

There have been increasing concerns about growing lawlessnes and a general