During the tenure of the past government 818 acre of lands had been vested with the BOI by using a special gazette notification, but after the Maithripala Sirisena came into power the lands had been taken back to the Government and returned it to the original owners.
In his first major official engagement since the August 17 election victory of the United National Front (UNF) for Good Governance, President Maithripala Sirisena on Saturday (22) distributed land deeds and relief assistance to families displaced from the controversial Sampur Industrial Zone. Yesterday's ceremony was an initial step to mark the resettlement program for all the displaced families.
Addressing the ceremony, the President said that we cannot expect a development without the blessings of the people and emphasized that "the government will work to develop the country avoiding every possible chance for a war to recur."
He further said that he will commit to solve the problems of the people living in the North and the East as well as the South without any discrimination.
The President said that he will build a country where people belong to all communities can live in harmony with each other and further said that he will personally look into the well-being of the people in the North and East and will commit himself to fulfill the needs of the people living in those areas.
President Sirisena said that the country will be able to take forward as a peaceful country only by giving equal opportunities to every citizen of the country and building peace and reconciliation among the communities.
Praising the government's concern for the grievances of these displaced people in Tricomalee, R. Sampanthan said that Tamil people want to live as equal citizens but not as a minority.
President Sirisena and former President Kumaratunga symbolically presented deeds to 25 families.
The people of Sampur expressed their gratitude to the President for giving them the right of the lands where they born in. They have been facing difficult experience with the loss of their places of living.
The government will give Rs.13, 000.00 for those who received lands to clear them. In addition, they will be provided with Rs.25, 000.00 to build temporary houses while giving them the building materials.
Lot of countries has extended their assistance to build these houses free of charge. They also will help provide electricity, water and other sanitary facilities as well as development of roads. The total number of displaced families in Sampur is 825. President stated that resettlement work for them will be expedited.
Former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga, Governor of the Eastern Province Austin Fernando, Chief Minister Nazeer Ahamad, Rauf Hakeem, Lakshman Kiriella, M. K. D. S. Gunawardena, Daya Gamage, D. M. Swaminathan, R. Sambandan and Mavai Senathirajah participated in this occasion.