Mannar Mass grave : Archaeological report to Mannar MC in 90 days | Sunday Observer

Mannar Mass grave : Archaeological report to Mannar MC in 90 days

Mannar mass grave site
Mannar mass grave site

The Archaeological report of the mass grave site at the premises of Lanka Sathosa, Mannar, will be presented to the Mannar Magistrate’s Court within 90 days, the Sunday Observer learns. The suspension on the investigation of the site, ordered by the Mannar Magistrate on March 8, will be effective until the report is submitted.

The team of investigators consisting of Chief Investigator and Consultant Judicial Medical Officer (JMO) Mannar, Dr. Saminda Rajapaksha, four consultant JMOs, the team of Archaeologists led by Prof. Raj Somadewa, a representative from the Government Analyst’s Department, Police, Police Scene of Crime (SOCO) and Special Task Force (STF) officers, three representatives from the Office on Missing Persons (OMP), including its Chairman, Presidents Counsel Saliya Peiris and representatives of civil society organisations of the families of the missing persons in Mannar met the Mannar Magistrate to discuss the future of the mass grave site on Friday.

Three decisions were taken at the discussion, said Chief Investigator and spokesperson of the team of investigators Dr. Rajapaksha.

“The Magistrate ordered to present the Archaeological report to the court within three months. The suspension on the investigation will be effective until the report is submitted. It was also decided to send remainders of all due reports,” he said.

Many reports are pending. The representative from the Government Analyst’s Department (GAD) promised to submit the pending reports within a week to the Mannar Magistrate.

A decision was taken to send a final reminder to the National Chamber of Commerce for submission of the bar code analysis, a source told the Sunday Observer on the condition of anonymity.

Objects found at the grave-site had been sent to institutions, such as the Government Analyst’s Department (GAD), the National Aquatic Resources Research and Development Agency and the National Chamber of Commerce (NCC), for analysis. The grave site recorded objects such as sea shells, biscuit wrappers, objects made of erodible and non-erodible materials belonged to the 5th and 6th century AD, the Dutch era and the modern period.

OMP Chairman Saliya Peiris told the Sunday Observer, that they made representations to the Mannar Magistrate for a multidisciplinary approach.

The OMP had requested the courts to consider the archaeological report, other reports and the observations of the team of investigators prior to taking a decision on the future of the investigation. They had discussions with the representives of the families of the missing persons in Mannar, before meeting the Magistrate.

He reiterated the importance of a multidisciplinary approach.

Some 335 individual skeletons were identified and 318, including 28 paediatric skeletons were removed from the site from the largest mass grave found in Sri Lanka, when the excavations were suspended by an order of the Magistrate on March 8. 

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