By Chitra Weerarathne
An ordinary farmer who owned about a quarter acre of land, after selling it to a multinational company would be destitute, said President’s Counsel Manohara de Silva in the Supreme Court yesterday when he supported a petition against the Lands (Special Provision) Bill. The petitioner was MP Udaya Gammanpila.
Manohara de Silva told the Court that the new Bill pertaining to agricultural land would enable a poor farmer to sell his land to a multinational company, invest the money and live on the interest. As a result the agricultural economy would fall.
The concept of the village having a temple, agricultural land and a tank would be gone.
Factories would crop up in farm lands. The natural environment might change for the worse.
A farmer after selling his land to a foreign multinational company would find himself destitute after some time. From Gal Oya onwards land had been alienated to all ethnic groups. They had cultivated and lived their though still poor. They owned their land, the court was told.
The impending Bill was unconditional, the Counsel stressed.
Additional Solicitor General Viraj Dayaratne, PC appeared for the Attorney General.
The bench comprised Justice Buwaneka Aluwihare, Justice Prasanna Jayawardena and Justice L. T. B. Dehideniya.