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* Office on Missing Persons to fund excavations at Mannar mass grave
Sun, Aug 5, 2018, 10:06 am SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Aug 05, Colombo: Sri Lanka's Office on Missing Persons (OMP) tasked with investigating war time disappearances is providing financial support to the excavations at the mass grave recently discovered in Mannar, the Chairman of OMP President's Counsel Saliya Peiris said.

The chairman said the OMP decided to fund the excavations to ensure work continues uninterrupted as long as it is necessary.

Following the discovery of human remains on 26 March at the old Sathosa building site in Mannar during a construction, excavations began on May 28 under the supervision of Mannar Magistrate M Prabhakaran.

So far skeletal remains of 62 people and human bones have been unearthed from the mass grave.

It has been reported that Senior Judicial Medical Officer Saminda Rajapakse, who is leading the investigation has requested assistance from the OMP.

The funds from the OMP will cover the basic costs of the forensic specialists conducting the excavations including transport, accommodation and other support services, Sunday Observer reported.

The excavated skeletal remains have been sealed and placed at the Mannar Magistrate's Court complex.

Dr. Rajapakse said the samples of the skeletal remains will be sent to a laboratory in Miami, Florida for radiocarbon dating in order to determine the time frame of the burials. However, a definite decision regarding when to send the samples has not been made yet.

The town was occupied by the Tamil Tiger terrorists LTTE from 1983 - 2009 during Sri Lanka's civil war.

 

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