Minister claims he offered MOD Rs. 5 mn to release land


D M Swaminathan

Many an eyebrow has been raised by a senior UNP minister’s claim that he had offered money to the tune of Rs. 5 mn to secure the release of private land held by the military in the Mullaitivu district.

Minister of Prison Reforms, Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Affairs D M Swaminathan yesterday said that he had received an assurance from the MoD that 189 acres of land would be released within one month after receiving Rs. 5 mn payment.

A senior spokesperson for the ministry said that following discussions between Minister Swaminathan and Defence Secretary Karunasena Hettiarachchi last week, the former had received an assurance that in addition to 189 acres of land, the military would release 279 acres in the Keppapilavu area on or before 15th of May 2017. The area identified for release consisted of 248 acres of state land in the Keppapilavu village and 31 acres of private land in Seeniyamutai village area. Altogether, a total of 468 Acres land were to be released, the official said.

The ministry said that the ongoing release of military-held land was taking place under the directions of President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.

Recently, the SLAF released a section of land within the SLAF Mullaitivu station following protests launched by a section of the four-party Tamil National Alliance (TNA). The TNA wants the SLAF to vacate LTTE built runaway in Mullaitivu. (SF)

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