Mullaitivu farmers allege private land acquisition by Archaeology Dept.

Farmers in Thannimurippu alleged that the Department of Archaeology has earmarked 56 hectares of private land for acquisition out of 256 hectares identified as archaeological land in Mullaitivu.

Speaking to The Morning, Archaeology Department Director General (DG) Prof. Anura Manatunga said however that the department would never take such a step, but added that he would have to study the case before making any further comment.

Thannimurippu Farmers’ Association President S. Thavaseelan told the media on Monday (19) that this acquisition included his own land. According to him, the land included shared grassland, paddy fields, and a dam built in 1953.

Social media recently reported an attack by Vattuvakal residents in Mullaitivu‍ against an attempt to seize 250 hectares of their land. However, according to reports, the residents were influenced by the politicians in the area. Blocking the officials from surveying the land, the residents of Vattuvakal and Mullivaikkal in Mullaitivu staged a protest demanding that their land be returned to them for resettlement and farming. It was said that the land would be acquired for security purposes following a directive from the Ministry of Defence, and that if there were any claims for the ownership of those lands, the officials needed to be presented with documents such as original deeds or permits from that time.

Located north of the Vattuvakal bridge, the land was abandoned by residents in the final phases of the war, according to media reports. They allege that the Navy took the land and set up a base called the Sri Lanka Naval Ship Gotabaya.