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HSZs shrink upon LLRC recommendations : 256 houses returned to owners

HSZs shrink upon LLRC recommendations : 256 houses returned to owners

2011 Feb 22

The government has taken action to release lands in the High Security Zones (HSZs) in the country in keeping with the recommendations of the Lessons Learnt Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) being implemented by the Inter Agency Committee (IAC).

256 houses surrounding the Palaly HSZ have already been returned to civilians and another 2392 houses have been identified for civilian occupation in more than 2500 hectares of the land that was set apart for HSZs. These lands will be returned to their original owners.

The Government Department of Information said there is no policy of forced settlement on the part of the government.

‘The government is of the firm policy that any citizen of Sri Lanka is equally free to purchase land or own land anywhere in the country. There is no policy of expansion of High Security Zones (HSZs), as alleged by some. On the contrary, the policy is to shrink such Zones, as rapidly and as significantly as possible’.

A Land Kachcheri system is being considered by the GoSL to resolve land issues, and it is awaiting the final recommendations of the LLRC. It is an established mechanism of state land allocation where the Government Agent of the District after due and fair inquiry plays a central role in assigning ownership and tenurial rights.

The State wherever it occupies lands of those who have been identified as owners, pays rents for occupation of such lands, the release added.

The IAC chaired by the Attorney General has taken the initiative to implement practical measures to strengthen the reconciliation process. The LLRC had made recommendations with regard to the detention of suspects, land issues, law and order, administrative and language issues, and the socio-economic and livelihood issues pursuant to its Warrant dated May 15, 2010.

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