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* Sri Lanka court rejects police request to close the mass grave found in Central Province
Wed, Feb 20, 2013, 10:27 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Feb 20, Matale: A Sri Lankan court today rejected a request from the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of police to close the mass grave excavated at a site in Matale of the Central Province.

Matale Magistrate Chathurika de Silva today rejected the request by the CID to close the pit where skeletal remains of over 150 people were found during a construction dig.

The unexpected discovery of the mass grave during construction at the Matale Hospital premises in November last year caused a massive controversy.

Police requested the pit covered since the excavations had ended but the Magistrate ordered the police to provide protection to the grave site since the investigation on the remains are being still carried out.

According to the Consultant Judicial Medical Officer (JMO) Dr. Ajith Jayasena, skeletal remains of 154 people were found during excavations carried out from the 26th of November until the 12th of this month.

The excavations have been completed and some preliminary tests have been conducted on the remains but the systematic forensic investigations of the remains to identify the era of the dead and their identities are still ongoing.

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