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Notes on the Geography of Sri Lanka: Kandy: Now: Photo 12

world pictures Sri Lanka: Kandy: Now

One impediment: real estate in Sri Lanka is in a state of administrative chaos, because there's no government record of ownership by tract.  Instead, there's only a room full of deeds to land described by metes and bounds.  Each deed is numbered and gives the number of the deed of the previous owner.  In this way, a chain of title can be reconstructed, once you know the present owner.  Yet there's no way to determine the present owner except by asking around, and the compilation of a cadastral map showing ownership in a village--let alone a larger area--would be a huge undertaking involving the compilation of an original survey. Nobody bothers.  The one thing people do know is the size of their parcel, measured by that elsewhere-obsolete unit of measure, the perch.  There are 160 of them to an acre.

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