Colombo Telegraph

Gota’s Beautification Victims Go To Appeal Courts

A group of residents from ‘34 Watte’ Wanathamulla, Borella has filed a case in the Court of Appeal today against the Urban Development Authority (UDA), challenging the institution’s directive that has ordered them to move out of their homes to pave way for the rapid beautification projects of the Colombo city.

Gotabaya – Secretary to the Ministry of Defence and Urban Development

Four petitioners from ’34 Watte’ – L. P. B. Nissanka, W. K. Thusitha Samith, K. A. Gunaratne and Samaradeera Samakanthi has filed their case under {CA (Writ 283/14)}, pointing out the UDA order has been issued to them in violation of the Land Acquisition Act and is also given out against a backdrop of unreasonable alternatives offered to them by the UDA in the forms of unfair compensation and low quality accommodation.

Making their case the petitioners have pointed out that they possess title deeds to their present lands dating back to 1979, which indicates the UDA is acting outside the legal framework available in the Land Acquisition Act when acquiring private land.

It has been highlighted in the case furthermore that these attempts of the UDA to forcibly evict residents of ’34 Watte’ is in violation of the undertaking made by the UDA in March this year before the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka where its officials had agreed that no person would be moved from their residence without their consent.

Citing reasons behind the decision to challenge the UDA directive, the petitioners have asserted that the UDA has severely undervalued their properties and that the only proposal provided by the UDA presently as alternative accommodation is much smaller in size to their existing property and requires those being evicted to pay a significant sum of money for a period of 20 years.

Listing out the following reasons, the petitioners have requested the Court of Appeal to consider quashing the decision to forcefully evict them and to prohibit the UDA or its agencies or representatives from acting in any manner that would be prejudicial and or/interfere with the petitioners’ peaceful and quiet possession of their property.

Read the petition here

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