Sri Lanka’s government to acquire property in Fort to build a Presidential Square

December 20, 2006 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s president Mahinda Rajapakse has given notice to owners of prime property around his official residence, that their land would be acquired urgently to develop a Presidential Square. Rajapakse has issued the order, on the recommendations of the minister in charge of Urban Development.

More than 4 acres of land (651.7 perches) bordering Janadhipathi Mawatha, Chatham Street, Sir Baron Jayathilake Mawatha, Mudalige Mawatha, and Hospital Street have been declared as being necessary for the President Square Project.

Some of the key landmark properties around President’s House in downtown Fort in Colombo that have been acquired include the Equity Two building belonging to the Carsons Group which is listed on the Colombo Stock Exchange.

Equity Two Ltd in a statement to the stock exchange did not say how the government would compensate them for their properties.

Speculation that those asked to vacate their properties would be allocated land elsewhere as the government did not have cash to pay out, could not be confirmed.

Land acquired under Urban Development Law can be paid market prices.

Key roads in and around Rajapakse’s official residence are already bl