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Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Moves To Block Grave Probe?

Startling Revelations In Matale Burial Sites

Investigations into the skeletal remains found at a mass grave in Matale took a new twist last week amidst claims of attempts to suppress the truth.The Consultant Judicial Medical Officer of the Matale District Hospital, Dr Ajith Jayasena insisted that claims the skeletons dated back 40 years was ‘a lie’.
His comments follow strong suspicions that the skeletons are the remains of youth killed during the 1989 JVP insurrection.

The residents of Matale claimed that there were army camps and torture chambers in the District Hospital, Vijaya College, the site where the Matale rest house is situated and Koombiyangoda temple as well as several other places in Matale. It is also reported that the Gajaba Regiment of the army was in charge of the area at the time.

“They have been saying that the skeletons are over 40 years old and belong to patients who had smallpox at that time. It is a lie. They say such things to obstruct investigations.

“It is important to find the cause of death and the period this had happened. The investigations are still going on. I refute all rumours and suggestions,” he reiterated.

Dr Jayasena maintains that there is information that he cannot share with the media at present. “I will be mentioning the findings in my final report at the conclusion of the excavation to the judicial authority. I am not scared to tell the truth. The findings of the investigation will be published as a public report,” he added.
He suspects that there would have been many skeletons in the year 2010 when the same compound was dug for the installation of the first two bio gas units. He expressed concern that much of vital evidence may have been destroyed already with the use of a backhoe by the private company contracted to carry out construction of the third bio gas unit. “We have found so many skeletal remains by investigating only 10 per cent of the area. Nobody knows how many skeletal remains have been destroyed by the backhoe when the other 90 per cent of the excavation took place,” he said.

Meanwhile, when The Sunday Leader contacted army spokesman Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasooriya he said that it is difficult to say if there was an army camp in the area. However, he said from time to time when the need arose temporary army camps were located at various locations.

By Niranjala Ariyawansa and Krishanthi Christopher in Matale



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