MCC Could Potentially Shift Millions of Hectares of Land into Private Control, Says US-based Think Tank
Source: Daily FT
July 21, 2020
Oakland Institute report is based on six case studies including SL on global push to ‘unlock the economic potential of land’
Says MCC project will extensively map and digitise land records of up to 67% of SL
Says land project focuses on mapping and digitising State lands for explicit purpose of stimulating investment and increasing its use as an economic asset
The Oakland Institute, an independent policy think tank based in the US, in a recent report said the compact between Sri Lanka and the US Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) could potentially shift millions of hectares of land in the country into private control.
“A land project focused on mapping and digitising State lands has the explicit purpose of stimulating investment and increasing its use as an economic asset. Motivated by the difficulty the private sector currently faces in acquiring land in Sri Lanka, the project will extensively map and digitise land records of up to 67% of the entire country,” stated the report titled ‘Driving Dispossession – The global push to unlock the economic potential of land’.
“Civil society groups have called on the Government to reject the compact and warned that it will result in ‘land grabs by creditors, the transfer of prime land to multinational corporations, [and] the loss of livelihoods for local farmers’. For dispossessed groups and ethnic minorities, the prospect of the Government determining what land is vacant poses an enormous threat given the country’s history of war-related displacement, internal colonisation, and landlessness,” the report said.