Land disputes are common in Sri Lanka between private land owners as well as between citizens and the State. Issues over land were identified as a key area for resolution in the post war period under the Lessons Learned and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) Report which prompted the Ministry of Justice to explore the possibility of mediated settlements for land disputes faced by people in the war affected Northern and Eastern provinces as well as in all parts of the country.
In 2014, the Ministry of Justice conducted a rapid assessment of community level disputes in the Northern and Eastern provinces of Sri Lanka to comprehend the perception of individuals affected by land and property disputes and their suggestions on how to resolve such issues with their best interest at priority. The study yielded a large number of complex land disputes regarding state lands and private lands especially in the Northern and Eastern Provinces as a direct result of the civil war. In order to speedily address the land disputes brought to light by the study as a direct effect of the civil war, the government adopted a policy decision which led to the establishment of Special Mediation Boards to solely settle land disputes island wide. This was followed by the development of boards in the Northern, North Central and Eastern provinces by the Ministry of Justice, and Mediation Boards Commission in collaboration with the Ministry of Lands. Currently, Special Land Mediation Boards are set up and functioning in Jaffna, Kilinochchi, Batticaloa, Trincomalee, and Anuradhapura in order to resolve land-related conflicts.