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‘Mass grave’ in SL town unearths human remains of over 60 people

Last Updated: Saturday, December 15, 2012 - 13:21

London: Human remains in what appears to be a mass grave that was unearthed last month in the Sri Lankan town of Matale could be "the site of a crime", forensic investigators have said.

The remains of nearly 60 people have been excavated at the site.

There are allegations that the bodies are those of Sinhalese guerrillas who fought a bloody left-wing insurgency more than 20 years ago. But other theories hold that the people died in non-political contexts, the BBC reports.

According to the report, the skulls and partial skeletons were discovered late last month by workers building a facility at a hospital in Matale.

Forensic medical specialist Ajith Jayasena said that 58 sets of remains have been found so far, some full and some partial. He said that more may still be discovered, the report said.

Jayasena said the grave appeared to be the site of a "crime" as it was not a regular place of burial.

"We have to find out whether they are male or female, their age, whether they had any injuries, and the cause or circumstances of their deaths," he said.

"Finding multiple human remains there means we have suspicions,” he added.

Jayasena said that no real conclusions could be drawn until a team of experts had finished its work. He said that some bones had been damaged during the initial discovery, the report said.

The Matale area was an epicentre of a late 1980s insurgency by leftist Sinhalese group, the JVP, in which the state matched the guerrillas`` extreme violence, it added.


First Published: Saturday, December 15, 2012 - 12:52
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