Issuance of freehold titles could lead to unforseen crisis, warns PHU leader
Posted on February 8th, 2024

Courtesy The Island


Pivithuru Hela Urumaya (PHU) leader Udaya Gammanpila, MP, yesterday (06) alleged that the decision to issue freehold titles to farmers could cause a catastrophic situation.

Declaring that President Ranil Wickremesinghe had launched the first phase of the Urumaya programme with an eye to the presidential polls, the former Power and Energy Minister asked whether the government was prepared to face a fresh crisis as a large number of farmers mortgaged their land because of wide scale poverty/indebtedness among them.

Addressing the media at the PHU office, at Pita Kotte, lawmaker Gammanpila emphasised that the previous government had refrained from issuing freehold titles.

MP Gammanpila said that a vast majority of politicians wouldn’t dare to criticise the incumbent government over this highly irresponsible move as they feared farmers would turn against them. The ex-Minister said that whatever the consequences he wouldn’t hesitate to warn the country and the Wickremesinghe-Rajapaksa government of the danger of issuance of freehold titles to farmers.

Gammanpila told The Island that the possibility of influential companies, both local and foreign, seeking to exploit the farmers’ situation couldn’t be ruled out.

MP Gammanpila said that a significant number of farmers could lose their land overnight and end up in towns.

President Wickremesinghe announced the plan to issue freehold titles in his Budget 2024. 

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