Claims arising out of the Armed Conflict

July 25, 2017 at 3:09 pm

The Ministry of Justice of Sri Lanka informs that pursuant to Section 4 of the Prescription (Special Provisions) Act No. 5 of 2016, disadvantaged persons who were unable to pursue their rights for the recovery of any immovable property, including land, during the armed conflict in Sri Lanka, are entitled to institute action to avail of the benefits conferred by the Act within two years of its operationalization. The Act came into effect on April 26, 2016.

In line with this provision, any person/s interested in reclaiming his/her/their property through the provisions of the Act, should bring such claim before April 26, 2018.

The Prescription (Special Provisions) Act No. 5 of 2016 was brought into operation to provide special legal provisions for persons who were unable to institute court proceedings to recover their immovable property, including land, due to the terrorist activities in Sri Lanka during the period from May 1, 1983 to May 18, 2009.

According to the Act, if any person who has a valid legal claim (as the rightful owner of the property) to any immovable property including land was a ‘disadvantaged person’*. Such a person could claim his/her property despite it being possessed or occupied by another person who claims ownership through prescription.

Electronic copies of the Act in the Sinhala, Tamil and English languages are available at the following links:

Sinhala                 Tamil                    English

Members of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka too are notified of the contents of this Act. If a person wishes to pursue legal action in terms of this Act, he/she could seek legal advice.

*Defined as a person who was unable to pursue his rights in a court in which he was by law enabled to pursue such rights, as a result of the circumstances, which prevailed due to the activities of any militant terrorist group during the period commencing on May 1st, 1983 and ending on May 18th, 2009.

Embassy of Sri Lanka

Washington D.C.

July 25, 2017