Notice on the period of Operation of the Prescription (Special Provisions) Act No. 5 of 2016

The Ministry of Justice of Sri Lanka wishes to inform that pursuant to the Section 4 of the Prescription (Special Provisions) Act No. 5 of 2016, ‘disadvantaged persons’ who were unable to pursue their rights for the recovery of any immovable property, including land, during the armed conflict in Sri Lanka, are entitled to benefit from the Act within two years of its operationalization. As the Act came into effect on April 26, 2016, the said stipulated time period expires on 26 April 2018.

Therefore, any person/s is/are interested in reclaiming his/her/their property through the provisions of the Act, such claim ought to be brought before April 26, 2018.

This Act was brought into operation 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 May 1, 1983 to May 18, 2009.

According to the Act, if any person who has a valid legal claim (as the rightful owner of the property) to any immovable property including land was a disadvantaged person. Such a person could claim his/her property despite it being possessed or occupied by another person who claims ownership through prescription.

Electronic version of the Act in the Sinhala, Tamil and English languages are available at the following links:


Members of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka 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.

*Defines 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.

July 26, 2017
Sri Lanka Permanent Mission to the UN in Geneva

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