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Matale bone samples ready for DNA testing

2013 Oct 24

by Chrishanthi Christopher



After nearly a year since the skeletal fragments were found in a controversial mass grave behind the Matale Base Hospital, samples of the bones will soon be ready for DNA testing.



Former Judicial Medical Officer of Matale, Dr. Ajith Jayasena, told Ceylon Today, the forensic examination on the dental remains of the skeletons will be completed in the next two weeks, and that arrangements will be made to conduct DNA testing on the bone fragments of the skeletons.



"Once the dental examinations are completed, we will write to the Matale Magistrate and get his consent to send samples for DNA testing," he said.

Dr. Jayasena said DNA testing can commence irrespective of the arrangements to conduct the carbon dating test to reconfirm the time period on the bones.



According to
Dr. Jayasena, the tests done by the Archaeological Department under the guidance of Prof. Raj Somadeva is fairly accurate and dependable, and such DNA tests can begin irrespective of the tests done overseas.



Dr. Jayasena conceded that there are only two local labs capable of handling DNA testing in Sri Lanka, of which one is the Government Analyst Department and the other Gene Tech Ltd. Dr. Jayasena maintains that he recommends Gene Tech Ltd. for accurate and reliable results on the DNA testing.



"They claim they have the technology and we will, at the beginning, give them a few samples and see how it works out," said
Dr. Jayasena, adding "The bones are old and we do not know whether they perform an accurate test on them." In the meantime the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) yesterday collected samples of bones from
Dr. Jayasena to be sent to China for carbon dating testing.

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