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Sri Lankan president to issue 10,000 deeds to Mahaweli settlers

Sri Lanka’s President Maithripala Sirisena is to issue 10,000 deeds to settlers this week under the Mahaweli development project, a controversial scheme that Tamils have criticised as Sinhala colonisation.

According to the official President’s Media Division, deeds are to be issued to settlers in Walawa zone and Mahaweli ‘’H’’ Zone in ceremonies on Friday and Saturday.

The project, which began under the UNP government of 1977, was one of many state-sponsored colonisation projects that took place in the Tamil North-East and has seen fierce criticism from locals.

Mr Sirisena has previously declared himself to be in favour of the scheme, having previously stated that he hoped to complete the controversial projects that were started decades ago. Sri Lanka’s former president Mahinda Rajapaksa also distributed thousands of deeds to Sinhala settlers under the scheme when he was in power.