Bodies in Sri Lanka mass grave over 100 and counting

By Kithsiri Wijesinghe

The number of bodies unearthed from a mass grave in war torn northern Sri Lanka has risen to 104.

Experts investigating the site in the predominantly Tamil town of Mannar fear the number buried could be higher.

The forensic expert leading ongoing excavations says that complete skeletons of 96 people have been stored under judicial custody.

12 children

"Some of the bodies are incomplete," Judicial Medical Officer (JMO) Saminda Rajapaksha told JDS by telephone.

"Parts of a hand or a leg could be missing at present. It doesn't mean that they are not human skeletons. Further excavations might reveal the missing parts."

Twelve of the skeletons have been clearly identified as remains of children and Dr Rajapaksha is confident of future forensic examinations confirming the view that several of the buried are women.

Forensic and archaeology experts have been conducting excavations at the Cooperative Wholesale Establishment (SATHOSA) premises for nearly sixty days since the first human remains were found in May.☐



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.