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Mannar mass grave excavation temporarily suspended

Excavation of the Mannar mass grave, where over 230 skeletons have been unearthed so far, has been temporarily suspended.

The excavation activities, which had been taking place for over 100 days, have been suspended due to officers having to undertake official court duties, Colombo Page reports, and will resume again on November 27.

So far, 235 skeletons have been unearthed from the mass grave, with at least 18 believed to be of children.

The remains are being held at a special chamber in the Mannar Court Complex. Though samples of the remains were supposedly due to be sent to a laboratory in the United States for carbon dating, the decision to send them lies with Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Justice. The ministry is yet to reply, and is only expected to respond in December.

There has also been controversy over the announcement in August by the Office of Missing Persons (OMP) that the office would fund the excavation, with concerns being raised about the independence of the office.