The British High Commissioner in Sri Lanka spoke on the importance of returning land to its rightful owners at the launch of a British funded documentary and report on the Sri Lankan military’s occupation of land in the North-East.
British High Commissioner James Dauris said his government was pleased to support a new report by the Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) that found over 12,500 acres of land remained occupied by the Sri Lankan military and called for reparations and the restitution of land to its rightful owners.
Below are excerpts from a speech by H.E James Dauris at the launch of the report;
“We will all agree on the importance of reconciliation and of achieving just solutions to problems and issues that have arisen over time as direct and indirect consequences of conflict.
We are pleased to support this research and documentary on ‘Sampur’ which reflects our ambition and willingness to help Sri Lanka and Sri Lankans address complicated post-conflict challenges society faces. This is done both through sharing experiences and supporting work locally. Our support for work done by The HALO Trust to clear land of landmines is another example we are proud of.
Land is deeply and emotionally linked to family and identity. It is not just a socio-economic issue. Land issues unresolved can become major sources of discontent and inhibit efforts to reconcile people and heal wounds.
We warmly welcome the return of land by the Sri Lankan government to its rightful owners.” (Gov.UK)