Centre for Policy Alternatives on 2 June, 2007

Natsingam Suntharalingam Vs. Minister of Defence (219/07)

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In June 2007 CPA supported four petitioners in filing a Fundamental Rights Application. The petitioners were Tamil citizens of Sri Lanka whose families have been residing within Trincomalee district in the East of Sri Lanka and owning property there for generations.

In terms of the Gazette Extraordinary No.1499/25 of 30th May 2007 the Petitioners were being excluded from returning to their lands despite the said the land falling within the Trincomalee Special Economic Zone having been declared as a Licensed Zone under section 22A of the BOI Act No.4 of 1978 published on 16h October 2006 by an extraordinary gazette notification No.1467/03.

The demarcation of the Trincomalee Special Economic Zone constitutes an infringement and imminent infringement of fundamental rights guaranteed under Articles 12(1), 12(2), 14(1) (g) and 14(1) (h) of the Constitution.

The Counsel representing the state submitted that steps are being taken for the resettlement of affected persons with due compliance of the internationally operative best practices for such process.