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* Sri Lanka Army to hand over occupied Keppapilavu land in Mullaitivu District to residents
Thu, Dec 28, 2017, 10:41 am SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Dec 28, Colombo: Sri Lanka Army will officially hand over 133 acres of land it had occupied in Keppapilavu area of the Mullaitivu district today, the Prison Reforms, Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs Ministry said.

The official ceremony to return the land will be held at the Keppapilavu Kovil in Mullaitivu today.

The Army has vacated the land and relocated the troops in order to return the land to the general public. The Army has also assured the buildings situated in the area which were utilized by the armed forces will not be demolished and can be utilized by the people.

With the return of the land, the Ministry has also taken measures to resettle those who had been displaced at Keppapilavu in the new year.

A group of Residents in the area early this year launched a Satyagraha campaign demanding the government to release the 133-acre land in the area back to its rightful owners.

Leader of Opposition and leader of main Tamil party, Tamil National Alliance (TNA) R. Sampanthan has sought President Maithripala Sirisena's intervention several times to secure the release of land held by the Army.

Prison Reforms, Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs Minister D. M. Swaminathan has received cabinet approval to release Rs.148 million for the relocation of the troops.

Following the Army's decision to vacate the camp and return the land, the 300-day protest staged by a group of residents ended.

According to the Rehabilitation Ministry, since the change of government in 2015, the armed forces had released altogether 37,427 acres in the North.


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