Accordingly the case will be heard on May 27 after 1474 persons owning land in Jaffna filed a writ application in the Court of Appeal last week.
The petition challenges the Section 2 notices issued under the Land Acquisition Act which specifies that 6381 acres and 38.97 perches are to be acquired for the ‘Defence Battalion Headquarters [Jaffna]- Regularising handover of area on which High Security Zone [Palaly and Kankesanthurai] is established.’
The massive area that is identified constitutes approximately 25.8 square kilometers and is more than two-thirds the entire land area on which Colombo City (which spans an area of 37.21 square kilometers) is located.
All of the petitioners own substantial tracts of land that fall within the above area and were displaced from their land due to war. Although the war ended in 2009, the petitioners have been prevented from returning to their land due to the military occupation of the area and barbed wire fences and barricades manned by the military.