Ongoing excavations find over 200 bodies in Sri Lanka mass grave

By Kithsiri Wijesinghe

Investigators have unearthed 216 bodies in Sri Lanka's largest mass grave after  work of nearly hundred days.

Forensic experts verify that 17 of the skeletons found in ongoing excavations belong to children.

The painstaking excavation work at the SATHOSA mass grave in Mannar district needs more time, says the Judicial Medical Officer (JMO) in charge.

"A slight error could damage the brittle bones,"  Dr Saminda Rajapaksha told JDS.

"We are unearthing skeletal remains on a massive scale. Therefore, we have enlisted a team of forensic experts."

In addition, Archeologist Raj Somadeva and the government analyst is involved in the investigations under  direction of the Mannar magistrate.

A fortnight ago, court had authorised to send samples of skeletal remains from the SATHOSA mass grave first discoverd in May 2018 to Beta Analytic laboratories in Florida for carbon dating.

The Office for Missing Persons is providing additional funding.☐