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Friday May 14th, 2021
Legal

Sri Lanka Gateway Industries continues court battle over land grant

COLOMBO (EconomyNext) – Sri Lanka Gateway Industries (Pvt) Ltd, a firm whose land concession for a heavy industrial zone was suspended by a President order has gone to Supreme Court alleging non-compliance with an earlier order.

Sri Lanka Gateway Industries was given land to build a heavy industrial zone in Sampur, Trincomalee, around the place where a joint Sri Lanka – India coal power plant is expected to come up.

By a gazette notice on May 07, the land grant, given under the State Lands Ordinance was cancelled by a presidential order with the land to be released for resettlement of refugees.

SLGI then went to Supreme Court saying that the cancellation was not according to law and that it was not given a hearing and its fundamental rights and natural justice was violated.

It alleged that a proposal to cabinet by the Resettlement ministry and a subsequent decision to release the land for re-settlement had been objected to by the Investment Promotions ministry.

SLGI said houses were already being built for people in a nearby location by the Board of Investment and bringing them near a coal plant was not the best solution. Also even if 800 families were re-settled only 103 acres would be needed and there was enough land in the area do so without stopping the industrial zone.

Supreme Court then gave an interim order suspending the gazette notice until May 21.

On May 20, following another application, court refused to extend the interim order and fixed both hearings to be heard on June 15, and asked the status quo as at that date to remain.

SLGI has now complained to court that as at May 20, SLGI was in peaceful possession of the land.

SLGI alleged that at the instigation of politicians about 50 to 75 persons have started to cut trees and erect temporary houses after the May 20 court order. SLGI alleged two politicians of the Tamil National Alliance were seen in the area.

A company official had attempted to lodge a complaint at Sampur police station but had been refused.

A complaint was thereafter lodged with the Deputy Inspector General, Tincomalee. SLGI’s lawyer said on May 27, Supreme Court directed the status quo as at May 20 to be strictly maintained and the Attorney General and DIG Trincomalee to submit a report to court regarding complaint lodged by the company official.

SLGI lawyers said they have also been asked to file papers for contempt of court.

 

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