May 04, Colombo: The Supreme Court of Sri Lanka will hear six fundamental rights petitions filed by 160 petitioners challenging government's occupation of their lands on August 7.
The petitioners allege that Sri Lanka Army has unlawfully occupied 6,381 acres of land belonging to the residents of Valikamam North Division in the Jaffna peninsula.
The petitioners in their application had claimed they were in occupation of their lands for the past 23 years and had to vacate their places of residence due to the conflict between the LTTE and the government.
They have further noted that they were not informed in writing that their lands were to be acquired by the Army for the construction of Battalion Headquarters and that they had come to know only through posters hung on the fence that was erected to enclose the barricaded area.
The petitioners have added that there were various business ventures operated by the Army within the area demarcated for occupation.
According to the petitioners, the unlawful occupation of lands violated their fundamental rights under Article 12 of the Constitution.
The petitioners have cited Lands and Land Development Minister Janaka Bandara Tennakoon, Chief of Defense Staff Lieutenant General Jagath Jayasuriya, former Jaffna Commander Major General Mahinda Hathurusinghe, Jaffna land acquisition officer A. Sivasamy and the Attorney General as respondents.