Sri Lankan commission to probe mass grave

Colombo, April 7 (IANS) Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa has decided to appoint a special commission to investigate a mass grave found in Matale, a spokesman said Sunday.

Presidential spokesman Mohan Samaranayake told Xinhua that the investigation by the commission will supplement the investigation carried out by police.

Over 150 skeletal remains and human bones had been unearthed from the mass grave in Matale since it was first discovered last year.

Forensics had determined that the remains were of those killed sometime in the late 1980s and the area has now been marked as a crime scene.

At least 10 skeletal remains were first found from the site near a hospital in November by construction workers when land near the hospital was dug up to construct a new building.

Following police investigation, excavation work began to look for skeletal remains at the site and more remains were eventually found.

Marxist political party JVP asked the government to carry out investigations on the mass grave following fears the remains maybe that of its members or supporters killed during a 1987-89 insurgency.

Sri Lanka’s main opposition United National Party, which was in power during the 1987-89 period, said it will back an independent investigation into the mass grave.

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