It was in 2010 that Sri Lanka Tourism attempted to kick start the Mahinda Chinthana-sponsored Kalpitiya tourism zone project but which got hampered mainly due to opposition from the local fishermen claiming that their livelihoods would be affected and due to pressure from private individuals claiming that the lands leased out were not state property but was private lands on the islands.
Having fought for their rights today interestingly, however, the fishermen have been able to create a fear psychosis among investors and delayed commencement of the project as a result of which it was believed by many there that the people must be the reason why investors were averse to start work or lease out lands on the islands.
Local authorities also claim that it would be difficult to ascertain who the real fishermen are since some were immigrants and others were small time operators and still others were engaged both in fishing and other forms of activities for their livelihood.
The sorry sight of these people add to the task of increasing development on these islands since local authorities were keen on getting adequate schools and teacher facilities for the school children on these islands in addition for the need for water and electricity. With a dearth of these facilities it was difficult to ascertain as to how these people would be involved in the entire development process.
Local officials said they have requested the authorities to assist in the process by providing an adequate number of teachers for these schools and provide them with an additional allowance for working in these difficult areas.
|State land or private?Who can claim ownership is questionable but now documents have been found to state that on the Ippantivu island a private individual had bought land from the state.It was found in documents produced at recent court proceedings indicating that under the seal of King Edward VII, 23 acres of land on Ippantivu Island was sold at a cost of Rs.240 to Segu Ibrahim Naina in 1906.Now it has to be ascertained whether the islanders could claim ownership as they actually state.|