More Skeletons Unearthed in Sri Lanka Excavation: Mass Grave Includes Women, ChildrenPosted: January 18, 2014
Four more human skulls have been unearthed at a mass grave discovered last month in northern Sri Lanka.
BBC News, Colombo – Charles Haviland reports: The remains were recovered during excavation work at the site in Mannar district. They bring to 31 the number of skeletons or partial skeletons found there. (Ed. note: other reports say as many as 36)
This is the first mass grave to have been unearthed and forensically examined in the former war zone since the end of the separatist war in 2009.
Thousands of civilians perished in shelling towards the end of the conflict against Tamil Tiger insurgents, but it is possible the find dates from considerably longer ago.
‘Children and ladies’
There has been no clear determination of the age of the bodies, or who the victims or killers were.
A government medical official overseeing the excavation, Dhananjaya Waidyarathne, said the bodies had been buried in layers.
“Unfortunately the top layer of the bodies have been disturbed by the road construction works,” he said.
Some of them had been fragmented by earth-moving machinery before the discovery was reported.
Mr Waidyarathne also said he was “very much worried” that no signs of clothing or human-made artefacts had been found in the mass grave.
The Roman Catholic Bishop of Mannar, Rayappu Joseph, told the BBC there should be an independent international investigation into it.
He said he understood the bodies included those of “small children and ladies”, and that it might have been that a busload of people were killed…
- Sri Lanka mass grave count hits 36 (skynews.com.au)
- A month into digging, 36 skeletons recovered from mass-grave in Mannar (oneislandtwonationsblogspotcom.typepad.com)
- Several layers found in Sri Lanka mass grave: Experts (oneislandtwonationsblogspotcom.typepad.com)
- Mass grave fuels fear of thousands buried in Sri Lanka war zone (oneislandtwonationsblogspotcom.typepad.com)
- Mass grave fuels fear of thousands buried in Sri Lanka war zone (trust.org)
- Several layers found in Sri Lanka mass grave: experts (thehindu.com)