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People’s Alliance for Right to Land (PARL)

The Sri Lankan government has launched an ambitious program of physical infrastructure development to completely upgrade the sea, air, road, power and telecom backbone of the country. Nagenahira Udanaya, Uthuru Wasanthaya, Sancharaka Udanaya are some of them.

People’s Alliance for Right to Land (PARL) as an organization which is taking its noble effort on sustainable development and environmental ethics has been identified several environmental and sustainable development related issues of the country with hindered the impact of the development for the general public of the country. It has identified the land grabbing issues as one of the major issues which are violating the right of people to utilize the land resources while contributing for the national agricultural production of the country.

This web site will be a good resource material for the people who are interested on the issue and the future studies. This will help to enhance the consensuses on land grabbing among the general public, government, non government and public sector.

What is PARL:

People’s Alliance for the Right to Land (PARL), is a collective of small-scale farmers and producers, fisher-folk, plantation workers, civil society activists and community based organizations who are concerned and disturbed by the present economic, political and development trends which are increasingly violating the rights of small-scale food producers, particularly their rights to land, rights that are essential for their livelihoods and food sovereignty.

PARL acts as a collective to plan and implement collaborative actions and share resources and expertise to strengthen the struggle against land grabbing in Sri Lanka.

What PARL opposes,

  • The large-scale acquisition of land (including coastal areas) and water resources - which for generations, have formed the basis of food and livelihood security of rural communities, - for infrastructure, tourism, industrial agriculture, Industrial aqua culture and other large-scale development projects.
  • The destruction of natural eco-systems (forests, lagoons, etc) through implementing unplanned and unsustainable development projects.
  • The continuation of High Security Zones which are preventing local communities (already affected by the conflict) displaced from these lands, from accessing their resources to rebuild their lives and livelihoods
  • The expansion of corporate/private sector-led, export oriented, industrial food production systems which violate the rights of small scale food producers and which are also environmentally destructive.
  • The exploitation of Sri Lanka’s marine resources by multi-national companies
  • The privatization of seed and water rights and the promotion of genetically modified food and seeds
  • The promotion of large scale cultivation for the production of animal feed and bio fuels, by allocating land and through subsidies granted to producers
  • The lack of political will to repeal gender discriminatory provisions in land related legal frameworks.

What PARL demands,

  • Stop the present trend of large-scale land-acquisition and instead implement transparent and accountable, people-led land, agrarian and fisheries reforms and rural development
  • Protect agricultural, fisheries, pastoral and forest lands and common property resources.
  • Institute environmentally and economically sustainable food production models that lead to dynamic local economies. Governments should commit to support and uphold sustainable and small scale producer friendly food production systems.
  • Promote gender responsive policies at all levels, including participation in policy making and in women’s control of and access to land, and productive resources.
  • Ensure the free, prior and informed consent when acquiring land and the participation of local communities in economic activities in their areas to enable them to be at the centre of development;
  • Ensure that credible environmental and social impact assessments are carried out before authorisation is granted to development and infrastructure projects;
  • Apply the National Involuntary Resettlement Policy (NIRP) to all development related and other land acquisition and resettlements of displaced people.
  • Give land ownership to plantation families, particularly to tea plantation workers in the hill country - with proper assistance to continue cultivation in an environmentally friendly manner.

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