Start Submission Become a Reviewer

Reading: Development and displacement: the national involuntary resettlement policy (NIRP) in practice


A- A+
Alt. Display

Research Articles

Development and displacement: the national involuntary resettlement policy (NIRP) in practice


N Godamunne

About N

Centre for Poverty Analysis (CEPA), No. 29, Gregory's Road, Colombo 07

X close


Across the globe more than ten million people are displaced annually by programs which promote national, regional and local development.  Sri Lanka too has large infrastructure projects which cause displacement and resettlement. Given the government’s vision to prioritize infrastructure development, Sri Lanka is likely to witness a growing number of people affected by development induced displacement and resettlement. The National Involuntary Resettlement Policy (NIRP) was formulated and came into effect through cabinet approval in 2000. The policy focuses on involuntary resettlement related to public and private sector development projects covering land acquisition and resettlement to ensure that people are not negatively affected and are able to restore their living standards and integrate into their new environments. This paper seeks to analyze the implementation of the NIRP with respect to recent development projects, notably; the Southern Transport Development Project, the Colombo Katunayake Expressway, the Outer Circular Highway and the Lunawe Environmental Improvement and Community Development projects. The paper draws on the Centre for Poverty Analysis own experience and information derived from secondary sources on; payment of monetary and non-monetary compensation, impact on living standards and livelihoods among households affected by the projects. It attempts to situate the empirical evidence gathered from the projects reviewed in the context of the principles of the NIRP in particular and within the broader impoverishment risks discourse in involuntary resettlement. The overarching objective of this paper is to interrogate the NIRP as a social protection measure implemented in a recent development project.


Sri Lanka Journal of Social Sciences 2012/2013 35/36 (1&2): 37-50

How to Cite: Godamunne, N., 2014. Development and displacement: the national involuntary resettlement policy (NIRP) in practice. Sri Lanka Journal of Social Sciences, 35(1-2), pp.37–50. DOI:
Published on 03 Sep 2014.
Peer Reviewed


  • PDF (EN)

    comments powered by Disqus