Land bill issue goes to court

Dec 11 (IL) The Supreme Court has begun examining the petitions filed against the proposed land ownership bill. Provincial councils have filed 11 petitions opposing the proposed legislation in a bid to retain the right over with regard to land ownership. They petitioners claim that the proposed bill went totally against the section 13 of the constitution.

Legal experts have warned that the proposed bill would pave the way for multinational companies to own the land in the country. They point out that this would prevent ordinary people from owning land.

Attorney at law Champani Padmasekera said that passage of this bill would enable non-citizens to own land in this country. It went against the constitution. This is a strategy to vest the ownership of land held by citizens of this country in foreigners in the future.

Lands minister of the UVA province, Senarath Attanayake said that the land charter had been approved in all provincial councils. As provincial ministers they were aware how the province should be developed and in who land should be vested.

A three judge bench of the Supreme Court headed by justice Mrs Shirani Bandaranaike today took up the petitions against the land ownership bill. The Supreme Court is expected to send its verdict on these petitions to the president and the speaker of parliament.