CA (Writ) 125 & 135/2013, two cases filed by over 2000 land owners in Jaffna Province challenging the grab of their traditional lands by the Rajapaksa regime by acquisition were taken up in the Appeal Court today (10.07.2013) before Justice Malani Gunaratne. Justice S. Sriskandaraja, President of the Appeal Court was absent today and Justice Gunaratne who normally sits with him in courtroom number 303 sat alone.
When the case was taken up, Senior State Counsel Anusha Samaranayake moved the court for time to file the objections of the respondents. The court ordered the respondents to file objections by 27.08.2013. The case will be taken up on that date. President’s Counsel K. Kanag-Isvaran headed the team of lawyers appearing for the petitioners.
If objections are filed by the respondents, the petitioners would be given the right to file counter objections to the objections under the procedural rules of the Appeal Court. After that the cases should be fixed for the final hearing.
The steps to acquire traditional Tamil lands has caused much concern and distress among the Tamil community. Several commentators have described the move by the Rajapaksa regime as a deadly blow to the difficult task of nationbuilding and a shot in the arm to Tamil extremists.
See our earlier stories for more details of these cases including the petitions filed.