Feb 05, Colombo: Sri Lanka's Marxist party Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) today urged the government to conduct a comprehensive investigation into the mass grave found in the Central Provincial town Matale, reveal those responsible, and take action against them.
JVP parliamentary group leader, Anura Kumara Dissanayake told a news conference that preliminary inquiries have revealed that the skeletal remains of over 140 persons unearthed from a mass grave in Matale belonged were from the 1988-89 period when thousands of Marxist youth agitating against the then government were murdered.
"The Matale mass grave where over 140 skeletal remains have been dug is thus far the largest mass grave to be uncovered in the country," Dissanayake said.
He observed that although the murders during the 88-89 period were carried out by members of the then United national Party (UNP) government, some of the persons who were directly and indirectly responsible for the killings at the time are members of the current government.
The Marxist MP added that it was therefore difficult to assume that the current government would do justice to the dead by conducting a proper comprehensive inquiry into the Matale mass grave.
The MP further noted that while the JVP would fight to bring justice to those killed during the 88-89 period, it would also work towards establishing the change in the current system.
The human remains of 142 people have been found so far since the excavation in the Matale hospital premises commenced on November 23rd after construction workers digging the area discovered them.
The excavations were carried on an order by Matale Magistrate Chathurika de Silva under the supervision of Consultant Judicial Medical Officer Dr. Ajith Jayasena.
The remains have been sent for carbon dating to ascertain the era of the grave. Authorities say it will take some time to identify the remains and no conclusions can be drawn until an expert team had finished its work.