20 August, 2014 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter | Mobile





mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
e-mail this to a friend printable version


» 01/19/2012
SRI LANKA
Kalpitiya: Muslim woman defeats mega tourism project over land expropriation
by Melani Manel Perera
A court has recognized the right of ownership Saleema of family land, where a local entrepreneur was building luxury resorts. Her legal battle cost her 300 thousand rupees (2 thousand euros). She will be compensated with 5 million rupees. Local activists: "Her example gives strength and courage to those who risk losing their land."

Kalpitiya (AsiaNews) - After seven months of hearings and 300 thousand rupees (about 2 thousand euros) spent on lawyers, a Muslim woman from Kalpitiya (North Western Province) has won her battle against a local businessman of luxury resorts. A court has in fact recognized Seinulabdheen Saleema, a married mother of two children, the right of ownership of two plots of land of coconut trees, on which Neil Silva had begun construction of 80 villas for his company Dutch Bay Resorts.

For more than a year fishermen and inhabitants of the islands of Kalpitiya have been protesting against the mega tourism project involving the local beaches. To kick-start the country's economy, the government has in fact initiated a series of programs to promote luxury tourism, however, that risk of damaging the ecosystem and the survival of local communities.

"Seven months ago - Saleema tells AsiaNews - I noticed that the workers of Neil de Silva had invaded my property, they were building a huge hotel. I explained to them that those lands belong to me, but de Silva told me that he bought the area from another person. So, he would not let me enter that area. "

Saleema’s is not an isolated case. Government and private investors invade land belonging to other people. They fence them, put them for sale or rent and then prevent the real owners from entering.

Saleema did not lose heart: "I have owned that land for 30 years: 12 acres are mine, inherited from my grandmother; 14 acres by my mother, she left me to manage them. I took the ownership documents and went to court, determined to take back what was mine. After 14 hearings (two months), the court ordered Neil de Silva to stop work. " Since the building had been completed, she explains, "I asked for a compensation of 5 million rupees (about 34 thousand euros) from the entrepreneur." The man agreed to the request and said he will pay "the value of the property."

In these seven months, local media and the National Fisheries Solidarity Movement (nafs) have defended the woman. "I have to thank them - she says - for encouraging me not to lose hope and guiding me in this battle." Saleema's husband said he was "proud" to have such a courageous wife.

"In Kalpitiya - Herman Kumara president of Praja Abhilsha Network and convener of the People's Alliance for Right to Land told AsiaNews, - there are hundreds of people like Saleema who have lost their land. This victory gives courage and strength to those people who want to fight against the major investors. "


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
09/08/2011 SRI LANKA
Fishermen: Colombo’s new development projects must protect, not destroy
by Melani Manel Perera
05/31/2010 INDIA
Orissa: unacceptable police violence against demonstrators defending their land
11/11/2010 CHINA
Local authorities must stop forced expropriation of rural land
04/30/2007 INDIA
Bengal communists at war with the farmers
by Nirmala Carvalho
07/30/2007 INDIA
People continue to die in Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal over land
by Nirmala Carvalho

Editor's choices
IRAQ-ITALY
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul," the thanks of the Patriarch Louis Sako; the concerns of the Bishop of Kurdistan
by Bernardo CervelleraThe head of the Chaldean Church is grateful for the AsiaNews campaign and hopes that "this chain of solidarity will reach far and wide”. Helping refugees to remain in Iraq. But many want to flee abroad. The bishop of Amadiyah where thousands of displaced people have found haven in churches and homes: We also help the Arabs (Muslims), and Yazidis, for free and without looking at our confessional differences.
ITALY - IRAQ
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul" to respond directly to Iraq's emergencyAsiaNews is launching a fundraiser to support Christians targeted by the Islamic State, thus responding to a request by the Patriarch of Baghdad and Pope Francis's urgent appeal "to guarantee all necessary assistance - especially the most urgently needed aid - to the great multitude of people who have been driven from their homes, whose fate depends entirely on the solidarity of others." More than 100,000 people have been forced to flee their homes leaving everything behind and now have nothing to live on. To help them, five euros a day are enough. The funds raised will be sent to the Patriarchate of Baghdad, which will distribute them according to the needs of each family.
CHINA - VATICAN
Wenzhou bishop and priests slam government's campaign against crosses and churches in Zhejiang
by Eugenia ZhangFor Mgr Vincent Zhu Weifang, from the official Church, the campaign of destruction is increasing social instability. It is real persecution against the Christian faith. The bishop apologises for failing to intervene sooner. He was hoping that the campaign would end quickly. Catholics and Protestants suffer injuries as they attempt to defend their sacred buildings. For priests in Wenzhou, the campaign is unfair and touches buildings that have all the right papers. Such "stupid acts" by the government are undermining social harmony.

Dossier
by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
by Lazzarotto Angelo S.
pp. 528
by Bernardo Cervellera
pp. 240
Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.