The Court of Appeal yesterday decided to hear the case filed against the acquisition of civilian land by the government in Jaffna. The President of the Court of Appeal, yesterday (20) granted permission to 1,474 petitioners to amend their petitions challenging the acquiring of 6,831 acres of land in Valikamam .

Accordingly the case will be heard on May 27.

Minister of Land and Development, the Land Officer and the Land Surveyor of Jaffna are cited as respondents.

The petitioners stated that they had been continuing to live in displacement since the commencement of the war, although hostilities in the North ended in May 2009.The petitioners and their families, they claimed, were unable to return to their places of origin as their lands had been acquired, which were owned and possessed by their ancestors for several generations.

The respondents, the petitioners pleaded, intended establishing a security zone in a land area of 6,831 acres, in pursuit of which lands were being acquired.

The petitioners further stated that there was no legal basis for the respondents to declare the said area as a security zone and pleaded court not to allow the declaration of such a security zone, in total violation of their right to possess and enjoy lands legally owned by them.

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