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Skeletal remains from Lanka mass grave to be sent overseas

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Colombo:  Skeletal remains found at an alleged mass grave in the Tamil-dominated former warzone in Sri Lanka will be sent overseas for DNA tests, a lawyer said today. V S Niranjan, a lawyer at the Magistrate’s Court in Mannar, said that Magistrate M Alexrajah issued the order yesterday to send the remains of 88 skeletons found in 2013 at Thiruketheeswaran area.

The site of the mass grave is located in Mannar in Lanka’s Tamil-dominated North, a former war zone. However, Judicial Medical Officer Dananjaya Waidyaratne who had carried out the initial tests in 2013 after the discovery of the alleged mass grave said there was no need to send them overseas and could be tested in Sri Lanka.

Police officials who carried out the investigations had told the court that the site was a graveyard previously and the remains found there could be of people who died under natural circumstances and buried there.


The police contention was challenged by several local voluntary organisations in a petition to the court, saying that a large number of people had disappeared in the area during the war between the LTTE and the government troops, and the remains could be of those who disappeared.