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Tests on Matale remains in the US

2014 Apr 28

A police officer covers part of a dead body at a building site in MataleCarbon tests on the skeletal remains found in the Matale mass grave are to be conducted in the United States, police spokesman SSP Ajith Rohana said.

The police spokesman said that a laboratory in Florida had indicted an interest to carry out the tests based on a request put forward by the Sri Lankan authorities.

“We had received a letter yesterday from the highly acclaimed laboratory in Florida that they are ready to conduct the carbon tests on the human bones found in the Matale grave,” the police spokesman said.

The carbon tests will determine the age of the bones and time period it remained buried. The police spokesman said that a court order will be sought to send the bones to the US for testing.

Over 150 skeletal remains and human bones had been unearthed from the mass grave in Matale. Earlier, forensics had determined that the remains were of those killed sometime in the late 1980′s and the area had later been marked as a crime scene.

At least 10 skeletal remains were first found from the site near the Matale hospital in November 2012 by construction workers when land near the hospital was being dug-up to construct a new building. Following police investigations excavation work began to look for skeletal remains at the site and more remains were found.

The JVP had later demanded that the government carry out investigations on the mass grave following fears the remains maybe that of JVP members or supporters killed during a 1987-89 insurgency.

The UNP, which was in power during the 1987-89 period, said it will back an independent investigation into the mass grave. The UN had also been called to assist in the investigations into the mass grave.

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