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We will ensure return of Northern lands to rightful owners: Basil

Responding to a question on land and missing persons, former Minister Basil Rajapaksa said a government run by his party would ensure that all private lands in the North would be returned to their rightful owners. “Those who don’t have land have to be given land by the government,” he added addressing reporters in Jaffna to launch the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP), the new party formed by Rajapaksa loyalists. He further explained that during the previous regime, after his brother former President Mahinda Rajapaksa took over office on November 17,2005, the government did not take over any private land in the North.

“The ones that had been taken over were that which was done previously by the IPKF and Army,”he said.

“We released 80 percent of the land during our regime,” stressed Rajapaksa.

Rajapaksa also chose not to answer the question of the missing and instead stuck with the rhetoric that; land and housing were a common problem all over the country but in the North, it is a problem that needed to be resolved.