|Military does not have the authority to forcefully acquire lands and permission of the government authorities is required to release these lands, the Commander of the Army Lieutenant General Chrishanthe De Silva informed the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) yesterday. He said if the government authorities give the orders, lands can be released immediately. He was speaking at a meeting held between Opposition Leader R. Sampanthan, TNA MP’s and military officers yesterday. |
|Another two meetings will be held on April 19 and 20 in Mullaitivu and Jaffna between the TNA MP’s, representatives of the protesters, military and government officials to discuss the issue of lands under the Army. The officials will also visit the lands. People in Koppapilavu and Mullikulam have continued to protest over the lands. The Opposition Leader said it was fair for the people to protest over the lands held by the army. He added that the meeting was organised to provide quick solutions to the continuous protests held by the people. |
“It’s been years since the war ended. We insisted that it is the responsibility of the government to protect the rights of the people. They have the right to live in their own lands,” he said. He further said he and MP M.A. Sumanthiran had discussions with President Maithripala Sirisena last Saturday with regard to releasing these lands. He said it was following the meeting with the President that a meeting with military officials was arranged.
“The Army Commander said they do not have the authority to acquire the lands. The lands were released following the instructions of the government authorities and they are ready to release the lands if the government authorities give the orders,” he said. Sampanthan said the Army Commander pointed out that they need some time to shift their camps from people’s lands and the government has to allocate money to do that as well.