Over 200 Skeletons have been found near mass graves of Mannar

Image Credits BBC

Few experts in Sri Lank said a mass grave which was found in the north-western town of Mannar is country’s biggest site for this.

More than 230 skeletons have recently been found at the grave in the former war zone, up from about 90 in August.

Human rights groups say at the very least 20, 000 people disappeared during Sri Lanka’s long civil war which led to 2009.

The 26-year war between troops and separatist Tamil rebels left at the very least 100, 000 people dead.

A court ordered detailed excavations at the site – a former co-operative depot near the main bus terminus – after human remains were found by workers digging foundations for the new building earlier this year.

It is still not yet determined who the victims were or the way they died.

“We have excavated more than 230 skeletons so far,” said Professor Raj Somadeva, a forensic archaeologist from the University of Kelaniya near Colombo who leads they at the site. He said that this may be the largest mass grave ever excavated.

He said that apart from the human remains, they had also found porcelain, ceramic and metal objects along with some jewellery worn by the victims.

“The bones are scattered and [it’s] very difficult to trace the stature of the bodies, ” Prof Somadeva told the BBC. “And some bones were missing…it’s chaotic.”

The town of Mannar is dominated by ethnic minority Tamils and community leaders says hundreds of people from the region went missing throughout the decades-long conflict between Sri Lankan security forces and Tamil Tiger rebels.

While Mannar town remained mostly under army control during the civil war, Tamil Tiger rebels dominated its surrounding areas and many other elements of the district. The military captured your entire district after ferocious battles which ended very nearly 10 years ago.

After the remains are uncovered, they are transferred to the custody of the court in Mannar, that may decide what should happen next after the excavation is complete.

The remains of ninety six people were discovered in 2014 near Mannar – adjacent to Thiruketheeswaram, a prominent Hindu temple.

But four years on there’s still no clarity if so either, about who was killed and by whom.

Rights groups allege that the military and the defeated Tamil Tigers inflicted widespread civilian casualties.

But the us government has always denied its forces had anything to do with civilian deaths or disappearances, and the army dismisses any suggestion that soldiers are connected with the bodies found in the mass graves in Mannar.

After years of international pressure, the U.S government earlier this year set up an independent body, the Office of the Missing Persons (OMP), to investigate the disappearances. The OMP have also partially funded for this excavation.


Related Posts :