Residents of Kurunthurmalai in Mullaitivu have thwarted an attempt by the Archaeology Department to take over their land, reports from the Wanni said.
They charged that despite the end of the war 14 years ago, they are yet to be allowed to resettle in their land which they had fled in 1984 due to the war.
A gazette notification issued in 1933 demarcated a 78-acre archaeological area at Kurunthurmalai, but in 2022, the Department took over 306 acres of private land.
MP Vino Noharathalingam charged that the boundaries were marked with a claim that the land belonged to a Buddhist temple there.
During a recent visit to Vavuniya, president Ranil Wickremesinghe said only five acres would be added to the 78-acre archaeological site.
A divisional secretary and officials who had gone to the site to mark the new land were opposed by the people, who demanded the return of their land already taken over by the department.
The DS said the land would be transferred to the Wildlife Department for handover to the people.
However, that suggestion was opposed and the officials had to return without surveying the land.