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* Presidential commission probing Sri Lanka's Matale mass grave visits the site
Thu, Feb 27, 2014, 01:04 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Feb 27, Colombo: The special three-member Presidential commission appointed to probe the mass grave discovered at Matale in central Sri Lanka has visited the grave site yesterday for observation.

As part of an observation tour the Commission yesterday paid a visit to the Matale District Hospital premises where the mass grave was located.

The Commission had met at the Matale District Secretariat and recorded evidence from witnesses. It will continue to record evidence from witnesses.

Meanwhile, specimens of the skeletal remains unearthed from the Matale mass grave have been sent to Beta Analytic in Miami, Florida for radiocarbon dating to determine the time period.

Retired Supreme Court judge S.I. Imam chairs the Commission that includes retired High Court judge Bandula Atapattu and former Secretary General of Parliament Dhammika Kithulgoda as members.

The Commission is mandated to probe how and when the victims died and identify those responsible for their deaths.

The mass grave was uncovered in November 2012 during excavation for construction at the Matale Hospital premises. Skeletal remains of 154 people were found during excavations carried out from the 26th of November 2012 until the 12th of March 2013.

It is believed that the skeletal remains unearthed from the mass grave were of insurgents from the Marxist party Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) killed during the 1988-89 violence.

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