Govt. to acquire private land within HSZs

The government will acquire land of people living within the High Security Zones (HSZ)s with the lapse of the emergency regulations, Justice Minister Rauff Hakeem said. The minister said that if in some areas, the HSZs were needed to be retained, then the Government would acquire the land legally and ensure that the affected people were relocated.

He said a security assessment would be made prior to deciding on which areas were needed to be retained as HSZs. Most of the HSZs are in Jaffna District areas such as Vadamarachchi, Valikamam and Thenmarachchi.

Last Thursday, a Fundamental Rights petition was filed in the Supreme Court by a group of farmers from Jaffna alleging their ancestral land had been lost due to the establishment of HSZs. The Government has scaled down the HSZs since the war ended in May 2009 and more than 100,000 people have been settled in those areas which were once occupied by the military.

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