Kalpitiya, is a peninsula in Puttlam district which comprises of 14 main islands. It separates the Puttlam lagoon from the Indian Ocean. The 14 islands have a total landmass of 4133.19 acres.
Approximately 64,908 people (2009 Census) live in Kalpitiya and 12,967 are engaged in small-scale fishers, and with 25% of women engaged in fishing-related activities.
Uchchimunai, keerimundanam, mohottuwaaram islands are the most affected by this fisherman hotelier conflict.
2003 Approximately 1000 acres of lands in Kalpitiya were taken over by the government affecting nearly 2500 families.
2004 Pursuant to a cabinet decision in 2004, 4000 acres of private lands were acquired by the state.
2005 The proposal to acquire the fishermen‘s lands was initially approved as an enactment through the Tourism Act No.38 of 2005.
2007, 2008 Lands in Kalpitiya were declared as a Tourist Development Area by Extraordinary Gazette Notification No. 1508 / 18 dated 01 August 2007 and No. 1549 / 7 dated 13 May 2008.
In 2008 the government initiated “Kalpitiya Integrated Tourism Resort Project (KITRP) with the intention of promoting tourist attractions. The objective of this project was to find investors willing to fund hotels and infrastructure projects for the 14 island. To achieve this goal, lands were leased to [foreign] investors on 30- to 50-year leases.
According to the tourism development plan, seventeen hotels with a total capacity of 5000 rooms are to be built.
2011 In September, National Fisheries solidarity Movement (NAFSCO) held a demonstration with the support of "Praja Abhilasha Network" and "Peoples’ Alliance for Right to Lands" demanding to protect their land rights.
International Fact Finding mission was conducted by Food sovereignty Network of South Asia on Kalpitiya Land grabbing.
2012 In January, "Praja Abhilashi network" (PA) organized a "Peoples Tribunal".
In August, the Uchchimunei island community discussed with the District Secretary of the area to take necessary steps to register and settle them in the same island.
In October, another demonstration held in Colombo demanding to protect their rights for lands.
A demonstration and a meeting held in Kandakuliya on the 21st November 2012 marking ‘The world Fisheries’ day’. Communities lived in the islands signed post cards sent them to President demanding to reconsider the decision to lease out Kalpitiya islands for tourism projects.
2013 On the 16th of March 2013, the then deputy economic development minister, met the fisher representatives of island communities. The aim of the meeting was to identify the issues faced by the communities due to the Kalpitiya tourism project and to introduce the development program.
The same deputy minister sought assistance from the Kalpitiya parish priest Rev. Fr. Michael Fernando to educate people and gather alternative proposals to remedy the issues faced by the fisher communities.
2014- Conducted a Survey on Kalpitiya Land grabbing by NAFSO/STP/PA and published a book named “Dark Clouds over the Sun shine Paradise”
2015- Dark Clouds over the Sun shine Paradise was published in Berlin at ITB.
In June, Round Table discussion was conducted on Kalpitiya issue based on the Report Dark Clouds over the Sun shine Paradise. Hoteliers, travel operators and travel agents were present.
2016 In Feb-03, Round Table discussion was conducted with Hoteliers, travel operators, travel agents and tourism ministry and Tourism board representatives were present.