Rajapakshe said that measures had been taken to expand the Mannar mass grave excavation site from the Western direction up to the Mannar main road limits and from the Eastern direction to expand it up to the by road leading to the Manna fish market.
He said based on the discovery of skeletal parts from the mass grave site, it would be decided whether to expand the excavation site further.
Rajapakshe further noted that they expect to take the sample skeletal parts to a laboratory in Florida, USA for carbon dating on or around January 23.
Currently, the excavation work at this mass grave site has reached 125 days, while 284 skeletal parts have been unearthed and among them were 278 complete skeletal structures.
The unearthed skeletal parts have been systematically stored at a special enclosure at the Mannar courts complex. The investigation into this mass grave site was initiated after skeletal parts were discovered in a pile of soil that was removed from the Sathosa building site on March 26, 2018.
The Mannar Police had notified court regarding the skeletal parts and the Magistrate at the time, A.G. Alexrajah had ordered the excavation of the site.
The excavations for the 125th day (By January 07) is being carried out under the supervision of the Archaeology Department officers, Government Analysts and Judicial Medical officers.
The investigations are being carried out under the supervision of Archaeology Investigations Professor Raj Somadeva and JMO Samindra Rajapakshe with the assistance of the Mannar courts officers and government analyst department officers.
However, according to Prof. Raj Somadeva, so far the time frame of these skeletal remains have not been carried out.
He noted that the investigations had found that in one part of the mass grave, skeletal parts were found to be in a systematic manner, while in another part of the grave site the skeletal parts were found in an erratic manner.
Pics by Madawa Kulasooriya-Vavuniya Corr.