The Prescription (Special Provisions) Act No. 05 of 2016 was brought into operation in April 2016 to provide special legal provisions for persons who were unable to institute court proceedings to recover their immovable property including land, due to the terrorist activities in Sri Lanka during the period from 1 May 1983 to 18 May 2009.
According to the Act, if any person who had a valid legal claim ( as rightful owner of the property) to any immovable property including land was a ‘disadvantaged person’ (the Act defines a" disadvantaged person' as a person who was unable to pursue his rights in a court in which he was by law enabled to pursue such rights, as a result of the circumstances which prevailed due to the activities of any militant terrorist group during the period commencing on May 1st, 1983 and ending on May 18th, 2009) such a person could claim his/her property despite it being possessed or occupied by another person who claims ownership through prescription.
Section 4 of the Act provides that a 'disadvantaged person' is entitled to benefit from the Act within two years after the date of operation. As the date of operation was 26 April 2016 (being the date of the Speaker's certification) the said stipulated time period expires on 26 April 2018.
Therefore, if any person is interested in reclaiming his/her/their property through the provisions of this Act, such claim ought to be brought before 26 April 2018.
Trilingual electronic copies of the Act are available under the following links:
Members of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka too are notified of the contents of this Act. If a person wishes to pursue legal action in terms of this Act, he/she could seek legal advice.