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Sri Lanka Land Ministry launches land re-registration process

Sri Lanka Ministry of Land and Land Development has launched a “Land Title Registration Programme”, according to the Ministry website bimsaviya.gov.lk.

A statement on the website regarding the process is as follows:

Bim Saviya is a program launched under “Mahinda Chintana” by the Ministry of Land and Land Development in order to strengthen the ownership of land and to make a land strength to the nation.

“Bim Saviya” is implement under the provisions of Registration of Title Act No. 21 of 1998 as a national program in year 2007. Under this programme, the lands are surveyed demarcated, ensured ownership and issued a Title Certificate, free of charge. Out goal is to complete this task in a time frame of certain years.

Four Departments have joined in hands in launching Bim Saviya Programme as follows:

Under the Ministry of Land & Land Development:

-Land Settlement Department
-Survey Department
-Land Commissioner General’s Department

Under the Ministry of Public Administration:

-Registrar General’s Department

Objectives

-Introduce title registration in place of deed registration practiced at present.

-Settle or make arrangements to settle the ownership of the lands which are presently unsettled.

-Establish a Digital Land Information System

A report in the Island Newspaper, quoting Minister of Land and Land Development Janaka Bandara Tennakoon said, “The government requests the Tamils who have gone abroad for various reasons and not visited their agricultural and residential land in the Northern Region for several decades, to apply for new deeds.”

An official of the ministry also advised to obtain forms and information on bimsaviya.gov.lk, for those who cannot attend to this process in person.

18 Comments

  1. Punchi Putha says:

    Another ploy to grab the lands of the tamils living overseas

  2. Patta Pal says:

    This is one of the most important pieces of legislation enacted in this administration and they need to be given credit for it. It is important that without further delay this “bimsaviya” program goes nationwide and once the whole country is mapped, we will have at a touch of a computer key, immediate on line access to every name of every person or body that owns all the land in the country and that ownership will be sacrosanct with people unable to defraud and make false deeds on land issues.

    Those whose livelihoods that will be affected are the lawyers of Sri Lanka who made tons of money out of innocent landowners from property disputes, as this sort of problem should over time minimize to a fraction, once a proper land registry is in place.

    Some people will be in for a huge shock. The survey is being done with Satellite technology. That means the new techniques of surveying is supposed to be the most accurate method. So most of the past surveys will be shown to be wrong and many lands will show extents that are substantially greater or lesser due to the inaccuracy of the surveys done with theodolites and such like. Some people will obviously have family disputes owing to land now being in different extents to the surveys that were previously carried out and those who lose out will sue from those who are the gainers to get their rightful shares.

    The problem of this scheme is primarily that we have to accept the survey results as the accurate ones and the previous extents written down in the deeds will be inaccurate the deeds may need amendment as to the extents of lands involved. Additionally I believe more resources must be extended to this program so that the whole nation can be completed in at least 10 years!!

    Great Job, great scheme and great idea, please carry out the work carefully.

  3. Ilaya Seran Senguttuvan says:

    While the intentions of the State in a post-war environment to carry out enquiries on long vacant land/houses/farms is understandable, the need for owners at site for a further registration is curious. In a free and democratic society the sanctity of property should be protected – irrespective if the owners are in the country or overseas. The exception being agricultural land where, I believe, according to the old Paddy Lands Act and their successor legislation the State retains the right to take over the land for developmental/agricultural purposes only with due, public and transparent notice to the legal owners.

    Also, why does the Govt insist on a new form of registration from owners who already possess valid and legal Deeds of Registration?

    This matter should be a subject of careful debate in Parliament where Tamil representatives in the North-East are given an opportunity to express their views. At a time when there are valid protests about land-grabbing by sources within and close to the Govt in the predominantly Tamil-minority areas, this move raises more questions than answers. Land-grabbing by VIPs is a lucrative industry in the Capital where an old Christian priest is held captive in his ancestral home at Ward Place where “interested parties” coming in State vehicles have threatened him to sell his valuable property at a fraction of its value – with the Police and other connected authorities turning their face the other way.
    It was tragic to read the Pastor’s appeal to the people to “pray” for his plight
    since the law had totally forfeited this respected citizen. This is just one example of this racket. There are hundreds more – some of which the free press exposed.

    ISS

  4. Silva says:

    There was a time when the foreign countries invaded our country and grabbed all our lands by force. Today the same thing is happening in a different way. Today the foreign countries are buying all the prime lands of our country. Not only China and India but even the US has taken our best agricultural lands to grow Banana.

    In other words, the Rajapakshes are not only robbing the country left, right and centre but they are also selling the country piece by piece to the foreigners. The foolish patriots and nationalists of Sri Lanka are blind to see this reality. The Sinhala nationalists are worried only about the Tamils and devolving power to them and the Tamil nationalists are worried about Sinhalese colonization but both these foolish nationalists (Sinhalese & Tamils) are blind to see what the Rajapakshes are doing to their country. They are selling the country to foreigners, robbing the country and buying/owning a large part of the country’s assets. Have anybody checked what Basil owns in Sri Lanka and abroad?

  5. IDP says:

    How about the agricultural and residential lands in HSZ? ;)

  6. Cayman says:

    By initiating this project in the north and east, instead of Hambantota, the govt. has created a paranoia among the Tamils.

  7. selvan says:

    Sounds very much a ploy to grab land in tamil majority areas by classifying them as “Unsettled” opening the door to disrupt the ethnic mix of the district.

    Mahinda Chitanthaya is a recipe for disaster for our country.

  8. Freevoice says:

    All people of the island should wake up against these pseudo- patriots! Tamils are already subdued; it is up to the Sinhalese to stop these people from disgracing honour our land! Kindling the communalism is a ploy to covert their ulterior motives! They do not mind undermining the reputation of Sri Lanka to conceal their heinous crimes!

  9. Patta Pal says:

    It was with great interest that I read the comments from a host of people who have absolutely no clue as to the intention of the Bim Saviya and also the fact that our current landownership system, Deeds and all sorts of ownership leases are a huge complication to the efficient operation of land ownership and sale.

    I studied the proposals and I have also attended the local meeting called by the Grama Sevaka to all land owners including all householders in the area, to discuss the issues with the relevant Government officials so that all misconceptions can be ironed out. When a property is not identified with an owner it is just noted as currently ownership unknown if the owner is not present at the time the property is surveyed as otherwise for a complete survey of all the land in the country some form of ownership is needed.

    All Government land has to be identified also as often the ownership lies with the Local body and others through national bodies like the Department of Wildlife or the Tourism Development Authority. Even the public roads are marked in the maps so that the whole mosaic is actually satellite mapped.

    I can understand the concerns expressed by some of the commentators, but I suspect much of it is gut reaction of anything that is done in Sri Lanka is automatically assumed to be with ulterior motives of a nefarious value!!!

    The UK had a land registry and it is high time we do as well. That is the idea. In the UK I can go and in minuted check the ownership of any land or property. It is therefore difficult to forge deeds etc that are commonplace in Sri Lanka. Property transfers can then be registered according to the proper fashion through the registry. At present this is not possible and land searches through the Pradeshiya Sabhas are fraught with errors and missing files. No doubt this will take a long time to complete, there will be some teething problems like those I referred to earlier, there will be lawyers who make a living out of land issues who will be dead against the gravy train of money they earn from the current unsatisfactory system. Another benefit is we can have a proper Title insurance system as is common in many countries so that purchasers of new property are not defrauded.

    It is important to realize that areas where no owner is shown, will not automatically revert to the Government or to a henchman. It will follow a long drawn out procedure of 30 years to determine ownership through a process, but I agree if one is not able to prove title then one is in a mess, and often those who are currently on the land, if now owner is able to claim this land may by the very nature of 30years of uninterrupted occupation, claim rights of ownership. These happen now anyway and many who have lived for 60 years with no title will finally get one through this system, enabling them to dispose of the land and then reap an economic benefit, which they cannot now, and then utilize the money for economic benefit for them and the country.

    This program has been carried out with international assistance so that our land ownership laws are brought up to the standards of the 21st Century.

    I am completely against most of the wrongs of the Government, but I do believe credit should be given when it is truly in the interest of the Country to bring the land ownership to the digital, satellite and computer age.

  10. Patta Pal says:

    who said it is being initiated in the North and East. It certainly is not, and it goes to show the complex you live in! Really weird dude!

  11. Ma-Rout-Ti says:

    Cayman

    The only paranoia is in the heads of the uninformed. If the Tamils choose to be uninformed, so be it. Any visit to the associated government website CLEARLY indicates the project starts in the Western Province

  12. Theo H. Wijenathan says:

    Why is it that the Registration forms are ONLY in Sinhala & Tamil? Why can’t we have the forms in English as well? The Tamil version is so complicated that I wouldn’t be able to complete it myself without the assistance of a Tamil Scholar! Can someone please give us the website address
    so that we could download it ourselves as we are told that the forms are in “short-supply”?
    Is there also a deadline to submit these forms?
    Thanks.
    Confused Land owner.

  13. shantha says:

    is any body can reply to me when is the nothern province (jaffna) dead line to register the land is there any website we could read about it? do we have to rush to sri lanka from here to register or could we do it on line?

  14. Anonymous says:

    nice one dude. I hope another Pirabakarn will come and sort Mahinda soon.

  15. M.Sivananthan says:

    The forms are in the TWO official languages. If you have problem with Tamil, try the Sinhala one.

  16. Theo H. Wijenathan says:

    Thanks for Mr.S’s enlightened comment.
    Please understand that there are lots of us who had their education in the English medium & hence my question. I never expected such a sarcastic comment……!

  17. Babina says:

    i also want to know the same informtion..ie: dead line to Jaffna and do i have to drop to Slanka?? please.

  18. Raj says:

    There were tens of thousands of Sinhala insurgents killed by
    previous Lankan governments during 70′s and 80′s but no registration of lands
    was called then. Why are they demanding registrations in the North and
    East now!
    It clearly shows Lanka government’s another marginalisation program and
    act of genocide against Tamils.

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