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UNP too calls for probe on Matale mass grave

In the wake of JVP demanding a comprehensive investigation into the Matale mass grave, which has revealed 140 skulls and skeletal remains so far, the UNP too yesterday said it was the responsibility of the government to conduct an investigation into it.

UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake told The Island that the JVP could point the finger at the then UNP government for mass killings during the 1987 – 89 period, but it had not been proved so far that the then UNP government conducted those killings.

“The JVP’s style is to sling mud at others, while white washing their own deeds of the past,” he said.

Attanayake said that however it was yet to be confirmed that the skulls and skeletal remains belonged to the 1987 – 89 period.

The JVP said that it was a mass grave used to bury the bodies of their members killed after being tortured by illegal death squads sponsored by the then UNP government.

JVP MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake said that so far 140 skeletal remains and skulls had been unearthed and the experts involved in the excavation believe there were remains of at least 200 more people.

He said that the Matale mass grave was the largest mass grave in Sri Lanka’s history and it belonged to the 1987-89 period, according to experts.

Experts told The Island that the human skeletal remains excavated from a mass grave near the Matale Hospital had been preliminarily dated to 1987-89 period, when over 60,000 insurgents perished in extra judicial killings, by the then government sponsored death squads, during the second JVP uprising.

The preliminary date has been given on the basis of bone colouration and typological analysis on the personal items, including some rings found on 78 human skulls and skeletal remains of 79 persons, a senior analyst who declined to be named told The Island two weeks ago.

Since then the balance remains had been unearthed.

However, the report on the findings would be released by the Judiciary Medical Officer soon.
By Dasun Edirisinghe


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