Govt commences identification of Northern land owners

By Franklin R.Satyapalan

In its bid to expedite the 50,000 houses programme by the Indian government, the Sri Lankan government has commenced a pilot project to identify owners of lands in the Killinochchi and Mullaitivu Districts. Killinochchi District Secretary Ms Rupawathi Ketheeswaran yesterday said that once the titles were cleared the ownership of some of the lands which belong to persons who are presently living in Colombo or abroad would be announced to enable the actual owners, who had not visited their lands for decades to claim their deeds.

Senior Assistant Secretary of the Bim Saviya Program P. M. P. Udayakantha said that steps would be taken to collect details of the present occupants of those lands through the Grama Niladharis to ascertain the actual ownership. This will be done within the next two months, he said.

Ms Ketheeswaran said that Minister of Lands and Land Development Janaka Bandara Tennakkon had sent a delegation to Killinochchi on November 29 following representations made to Tharuneyeta Hetak Chairman MP Namal Rajapaksa, by the villagers on the ownership of their lands.

MP Rajapaksa was accompanied by UNP MP Sri Ranga on a tour of the Mullaiativu and Killinochchi Districts last month

The pilot programmes, in the four Divisional Secretariat areas of Killinochi, commenced with the support of Grama Niladharis

Minister of Foreign Affairs Prof. G. L. Pieris also visited the two districts in mid November to inquire into the problems concerning the ownership of lands.

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