Aug 28, 2018

Bodies found in Mannar Mass grave reaches 104

Excavations are being carried out at the Mannar Mass Grave at the old Sathosa warehouse complex and so far 104 skeletal remains had been discovered by yesterday (27), according to the Specialist Judicial Medical Officer handling the investigation, S. Rajapaksha.

Rajapaksha said that so far skeletal remains of 104 human corpses had been discovered and of them 96 had been removed successfully.

He said under stage one and two the soil layers were removed and it might be necessary to expand the investigating area.

The excavated skeletal parts are being stored at the Mannar Courts Complex under the custody of the JMO and the skeletal parts are scheduled to be sent to a lab in California, USA for carbon print testing.

However, although permission has been sought from the Justice Ministry for the skeletal parts to be sent to California, so far the Ministry’s approval has not been granted.

The old Sathosa building was demolished and the excavated soil was taken to a dump site in Emilnagar on March 26 where the skeletal parts were first discovered prompting the investigation of the site.

The Mannar Police had been notified of the discovery and excavations at the site was initiated on the directives of the Mannar Magistrate A.G. Alexrajah.

The excavations have been going on for 58 days.

The investigations are currently ongoing on the directives of the current Mannar Magistrate T.G. Prabhakaran under the supervision of Professor Raj Somadeva of the Kelaniya University Archaeology Department and JMO Dr. Samindra Rajapaksha and the Mannar Police.

According to Prof. Somadeva, so far no time frame has been determined with regard to the skeletal remains found at the Mannar Sathosa site.

He noted that the skeletal remains found in one spot displayed a certain systematic form while the bones found in another part were those buried in a disorganized manner.

Pics by Madhawa Kulasooriya – Vavuniya Corr.