Colonization Schemes What Did the B-C Pact Say

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  • 8/13/2019 Colonization Schemes What Did the B-C Pact Say


    Colonization Schemes: What Did The B-C PactSay?

    R Sampanthan MP Special to Jan-14-2014These are lands on which these people have lived for generations and centuries.(CO OM!O" - # am happ$ to follow the Minister% the &on. 'ana a!andara Tenna oon% who% # thin % in the course of his statementreferred to the multifarious pro)lems that e*ist in the North and the+ast pertaining to State land. # will )e dealing with some of theseissues in the course of m$ speech.

    ands% Sir% is a fundamental issue. #t has enormous influence on vitalaspects of human activit$ and it is crucial% particularl$ from the point

    of view of the affected people% li e persons displaced during the warand so on. There are private lands. arge e*tents of private lands are to )e ac,uired )$ the overnment in )oth the North and the +ast. Theowners are opposed to such ac,uisition. These are lands on whichthese people have lived for generations and centuries. People havegone to court in regard to this matter and the overnment has givencertain commitments to court on this ,uestion. !ut% unfortunatel$%those commitments have not )een ept. #n fact # have raised some ofthe issues in Parliament and # have )een given some commitments onthe loor of this &ouse% )ut unfortunatel$% even those commitmentsare not )eing ept.There are su)stantial lands held on permits issued )$ the State. Thereare lands possessed )$ people over long periods of time for whichthe$ have not )een issued permits )ecause overnmental machiner$ has not functioned insome of these areas efficientl$ for a long period of time. No land achcheries have )een held.

    Necessar$ action was not ta en )$ overnment to give land to landless people. These peopleare landless people and are entitled to receive land. There is documentar$ proof of the fact thatthe$ have cultivated those lands or lived on those lands. There is what is nown as the /0appu1entered in regard to padd$ fields. There are also other documents with ocal overnmentofficials to esta)lish that people have possessed these lands. #t is necessar$ that all these peoplemust )e given those lands. #t is also necessar$ that a vast num)er of people who do not havelands are also given lands to ena)le them to live on such lands and to cultivate such lands.People were displaced% Sir% in large num)ers )oth in the North and the +ast. Some havereturned Some are una)le to return )ecause their lands% particularl$ agricultural lands% areunlawfull$ held )$ others. Those lands have )een encroached upon% trespassed upon )$ other

    persons and are )eing held )$ those persons% largel$ new settlers from ad2oining areas in the+ast and in the North% such lands are held )$ the militar$.

    There are also instances where persons are )eing )rought from other areas to these lands in

    R Sampanthan
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    )oth the North and the +ast. These people have no means to survive unless the$ cultivate theiragricultural land. #n the matter of residence% those people who do not have land are una)le too)tain an$ relief for the purpose of their residence )ecause the$ must own a land )efore the$can even )uild a house. So% these are matters that need to )e attended to. !ut% unfortunatel$% theauthorities are not resolving these issues. The people have complained to 0ivisionalSecretaries% to land authorities% )oth at central and provincial levels. The$ have complained tothe police and sought interference )$ the law-enforcement authorities% )ut there is noresolution. There appears to )e a lac of will on the part of the authorities to resolve theseissues in an effective manner. #t appears that in some instances such dela$ is deli)erate. andshould )e restored to people who are entitled to such lands% and landless people must )e givenlands. There appears to )e no definite arrangement to implement this responsi)ilit$. This is

    )eneficial to people who are unlawfull$ possessing such lands. #t gravel$ affects the displaced people who want to return% and the landless people who are entitled to State land and want toreceive land. These people can resume normal lives onl$ when this issue is resolved in a 2ustmanner.The implementation of impartial land dispute resolution mechanisms is one of the components

    in the Resolutions adopted )$ the 3N &uman Rights Council in 4564 and 4567% which the Srian an overnment had )een called upon to implement. That is no mechanism whatever to

    resolve such land issues. The position is onl$ getting worse )$ the da$. People are sufferingimmensel$. #n some so-called welfare centres% people are living in s,ualid conditions. # amsorr$ to state that the overnment is insensitive to this situation. #n some areas% high officialswant people to suffer )ecause the people want to )e resettled on the lands from which the$were displaced and are not willing to compl$ with the directions of the officials in regard to thearea of resettlement. This applies to particularl$ the Sampur area in the Trincomalee 0istrict.People have )een deprived of their dr$ rations8 people have )een made to starve. There is aretired militar$ official who is retained as overnment 9gent in Trincomalee for more than

    seven $ears. # wish to pose the ,uestion whether he is )eing retained to implement such programmes. Such a long term for a government agent is not heard of in pu)lic service. Theovernor of the +astern Province against whom the previous provincial government resolved

    that he should )e removed% the Ca)inet of Ministers unanimousl$ resolved that he should )eremoved and wrote to the President )ut he is not )eing removed and his term has )een e*tendedand he has )een given a fresh term.:h$ are these things )eing done; The general impression is that it is these persons who arecreating o)struction in regard to the resettlement of these people on the lands from which the$were displaced. 9 reasona)le resolution in regard to disputes pertaining to land is fundamentalfor reconciliation. There can )e no reconciliation unless disputes pertaining to lands are settledreasona)l$. Reasona)le resolution of issues% particularl$ power pertaining to land% are alsoine*trica)l$ lin ed to the evolution of a reasona)le political solution.# would li e to trace% Sir% the histor$ of this issue. # would first li e to refer to the!andaranai e-Chelvana$a am Pact signed on the 4

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    employed for work on such schemes. The position regarding the area at present

    administered by the Gal ya !oard in this matter re"uires consideration#.

    That is because at that point of time$ a substantial number of people from outside had

    been settled in that area administered by the Gal ya %e&elopment !oard. !ut$ other

    than that area$ in the 'orthern and astern ro&inces$ this was to be the position.

    Then$ we had the %udley *enanayake+Chel&anayakam act$ *ir$ which was signed on

    the ,-th of arch$ /012 and this is what the act stated in regard to *tate lands. I


    / -. The 4and %e&elopment rdinance will be amended to pro&ide that citi5ens of

    Ceylon be entitled to the allotment of land under the rdinance.

    r. *enanayake further agreed that in the granting of land under coloni5ation schemes

    the following priorities be obser&ed in the 'orthern and astern pro&inces.

    (a) 4and in the 'orthern and astern ro&inces should in the first instance be granted

    to landless persons in the district.

    (b) *econdly$ to Tamil+speaking persons resident in the northern and eastern


    (c) Thirdly, to other citizens in Ceylon, preference being given to Tamil citizens resident in the

    rest of the Island.

    That was the Pact signed with Mr. 0udle$ Senana$a e. Two of the tallest leaders% Mr. S.:.R.0.!andaranai e and Mr. 0udle$ Senana$a e who served this countr$% signed these Pacts alongwith the undisputed leader of the Tamil people% the late Mr. S.'.B. Chelvana$a am% in theircapacit$ as Prime Ministers of this countr$. Their idea was that the territorial identit$ ofminorit$ peoples% who preponderantl$ occupied the Northern and +astern Provinces% must )e


    That is )ecause the$ felt that such an arrangement was fundamental to ethnic peace andharmon$. 3nfortunatel$% Sir% that matter was not implemented and # thin that has )een the

    primar$ cause for the conflict% which ever$one in this countr$ has faced for several decades.

    # might mention% Sir% # do not want to )e misunderstood that when the countr$ attained#ndependence in 6=D?% not a single Mem)er of Parliament from the ma2orit$ communit$ waselected in the +astern Province. !ut% toda$ we have five Mem)ers of Parliament who have )eenelected from the ma2orit$ communit$ in the +astern Province. That is )ecause the thin ing of

    )oth Mr. S.:.R.0. !andaranai e and Mr. 0udle$ Senana$a e has not )een implemented. #

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    might mention% Mr. 0eput$ Chairman% that )etween 6=D? and 6=E6% while the natural increasein the Sinhala population in the whole countr$ was 47E per cent% the Sinhalese population in the+astern Province increased )$ EE7 per cent. #n other words% the natural increase of theSinhalese population in the whole countr$ was less than two and a half times )etween 6=D? and6=E6% )ut% in the same period% the increase in the Sinhalese population in the +astern Provincewas almost nine times. Those facts% Sir% spea for themselves and clearl$ indicate how un2ustthis ,uestion of allocation of land has )een.Then% we come to the Thirteenth 9mendment to the Constitution% Sir% which was the ne*t stepin regard to State land. #tem 6E of the Provincial Council ist sa$s% # ,uoteA

    / 4and$ 6 4and$ that is to say$ rights in or o&er land$ land tenure$ transfer and

    alienation of land$ land use$ land settlement and land impro&ement$ to the e7tent set

    out in 8ppendi7 II.#

    That is the land power given to Provinces in regard to State land.9ppendi* ## states% # ,uoteA

    / *tate land shall continue to &est in the Republic and may be disposed of in accordance with 8rticle 99(d) and written law go&erning the matter.

    Subject as aforesaid, land shall be a Provincial Council Subject .

    # repeat%/Su)2ect as aforesaid% land shall )e a Provincial Council Su)2ect% su)2ect to the followingspecial provisionsA-1There were certain special Provisions made in regard to that matter.

    and was also referred to% Sir% in the Reserved ist ## in the Thirteenth 9mendment to the

    Constitution which states% on the ,uestion of land% # ,uoteA/F State ands and oreshore% +*cept to the +*tent Specified in #tem 6E of ist #.1#n other words% that is% e*cept to the e*tent specified in #tem 6E of the Provincial Council ist.So% the power devolved on Provincial Councils in regard to State land was to remain. # la$emphasis on this matter% Sir% on account of certain developments that have ta en place recentl$.

    So% even under the Thirteenth 9mendment to the Constitution% Sir% $ou would see that therewas power given to Provincial Councils over State land however limited or inade,uate such

    power ma$)e.Then% from there% Sir% we move on to the Constitutional proposals of former PresidentChandri a !andaranai e Gumaratunga. # would first )riefl$ refer to the proposals that she

    placed )efore the countr$ in 6==> on and and and Settlement. Paragraph D.6 of the proposalsstates% # ,uoteA

    / -./ 4and will be a de&ol&ed sub:ect and *tate land within a region will be &ested in

    the Regional Councils. *tate land within a Region re"uired for the purposes of the

    Centre in respect of a reser&ed sub:ect may be utili5ed by the Centre in consultation

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    with the rele&ant Regional Council in accordance with such procedures as may be

    established by law.

    -., riority in future land settlement schemes will be gi&en to persons first of the

    district and then of the Region. ;

    These proposals of Madam Chandri a !andaranai e Gumaratunga in 6==> were followed )$the Constitutional proposals she placed )efore Parliament in 4555. :hat is stated underChapter HB# pertaining to land is as follows. # ,uoteA

    / /-9(,) The Centre and the Regions shall succeed to such *tate land at the

    commencement of the Constitution in the manner hereinafter pro&ided and shall

    hold such *tate land in the name of the Republic. ;

    The ne*t paragraph states further% # ,uoteA/ (9) (a) The Centre shall succeed to *tate land controlled or used$ in relation to

    sub:ects and functions enumerated in the Reser&ed 4ist$ by the Central Go&ernment$

    its institutions or any public corporation at the commencement of the Constitution. #

    Then% Paragraph > states% # ,uoteA

    (2) &ery Region shall succeed to all other *tate land within the Region and such *tate

    land shall$ sub:ect to +

    (a) The rights en:oyed$ immediately prior to the commencement of the Constitution$ by any person in lawful possession or occupation$ immediately prior to the

    commencement of the Constitution$ of any such land< and

    (b) be at the disposal of the Regional 8dministration of that Region for the purposes

    set out in the Regional 4ist$ and the Regional 8dministration shall be entitled to

    e7ercise rights in or o&er such land$ including land tenure$ transfer and alienation of

    land$ land use$ land settlement and land impro&ement$ in accordance with applicable written law.

    (1) (a) =here the Central Go&ernment is satisfied that *tate land in a Region is

    re"uired for the purpose of a sub:ect in the Reser&ed 4ist$ the Central Go&ernment

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    may$ after consultation with the rele&ant Regional 8dministration$ re"uire the

    Regional 8dministration to make a&ailable to the Central Go&ernment or to such

    public authority as the Central Go&ernment may specify$ such land as may reasonably

    be re"uired for such purpose and the Regional 8dministration shall comply with such

    re"uirement.#urther% Sir% on the ,uestion of priorit$ it states% # ,uoteA

    / (>) riority in land settlement schemes after the commencement of the Constitution

    shall be accorded first to landless persons of any sub+di&ision$ recogni5ed by law$ of a

    %istrict$ then to landless persons of the %istrict and then to persons of the Region.#

    That is what Madam Chandri a !andaranai e GumaratungaIs proposals stated% )oth in 6==>and 4555.:hat is significant a)out this proposal% Sir% is that President Mahinda Ra2apa sa was a Mem)erof President Chandri a !andaranai e GumaratungaIs Ca)inet of Ministers and was a part$ tothis proposal. That was definitel$ the position of the Sri an a reedom Part$ and all its

    progressive alliance partners.

    # am confident that this continues )e their position even toda$. #n fact% President MahindaRa2apa sa%...