Excavations at the Kokkuthoduvai mass grave site in Mullaitivu are expected to resume on August 21 after a field visit was conducted today.
Under the leadership of Mullaitivu District Magistrate Court judge R Pradeepan, a team of archeology department officials and forensic experts visited the mass grave today. The Department of Archeology are expected to submit a plan to the court on August 17, explaining the excavation process and confirming whether it will begin on August 21.
The mass grave was discovered on June 29th by construction workers from the National Water Supply and Drainage Board prompting excavation efforts.
Last month, a hartal was carried out in Jaffna and Mullaitivu as Tamils across the homeland have been calling for an international investigation into the Kokkuthodavai mass grave. Tamil families of the disappeared and activists have also echoed calls for an impartial investigation into the mass grave as previous mass graves discovered across the island have failed to be investigated properly.
In a joint report, Journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka (JDS), the International Truth and Justice Project (ITJP), Centre for Human Rights and Development (CHRD) and the Families of the Disappeared (FoD), highlight how successive Sri Lankan governments have interfered in investigations into mass graves between 1989 and 2009. The report also demonstrates that while tens of thousands of bodies lie undiscovered in mass graves across the island, only 20 mass graves have been partially exhumed over the last 30 years.
The report also highlights that very few exhumations have led to the identification of victims or provided explanations for the cause of their deaths.