Bodies of child and adult found side by side in Sri Lanka mass grave (VIDEO)

By Kithsiri Wijesinghe

Experts have unearthed a body of a child beside that of an adult from the Mannar mass grave in northern Sri Lanka.

The lead forensic investigator says that the child’s skeleton was found very close to the adult body while parts below the waist were missing. Only the lower jaw had been found so far.


“We are unable to determine the sex of the findings,” Judicial Medical Officer (JMO) Saminda Rajapaksa told JDS.

“The sex can only be confirmed after a DNA test. However, most of the skeletons were found close to each other.”

Carbon Dating

Dr Rajapaksha says that experts are discussing the option of sending bone samples to Beta Analytic in Florida, USA for carbon dating .

“Anyway, a final decision has to be made by the ministry of Justice. It would be time consuming as it is a very complicated process.”

However, an earlier report by Beta Analytic on skeletal findings of another mass burial site was rejected by Sri Lankan experts including the main archaeologist investigating the Mannar SATHOSA mass grave.

In 2015, Beta Analytic concluded that the bones from the Matale mass grave in central Sri Lanka belong to a time before 1950, while Professor Raj Somadeva maintains that they were from1986-90.

The same year, lawyers and civil society organisations strongly objected police requests to send bone samples from another mass grave in Thiruketheeswaram, Mannar to Beta Analytic.☐




Journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka

  • JDS is the Sri Lankan partner organization of international media rights group, Reporters Without Borders (RSF). The launching of this website was made possible by the EU’s European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR), of which Reporters Without Borders is a beneficiary.