The collection of samples for radio carbon dating from the skeletal remains unearthed at the mass grave found in Mannar in Northern Sri Lanka commenced Tuesday, the official in charge of the excavations, Senior Judicial Medical Officer Shaminda Rajapaksa said.
The official said the bone samples will be collected under the orders of the Mannar Magistrate, in the presence of a group of experts, including forensic medicine specialists, Kelaniya University Senior Professor of Archaeology Raj Somadeva, representatives of the Office on Missing Persons (OMP), Government analyst officers, representatives of the Association of Relatives of The Disappeared in Mannar, and a special team of Government attorneys.
According to Dr. Rajapaksa, excavations have been conducted for 119 days, and investigators have found skeletal remains of 280 people.
The Judicial Medical Officer further stated that 6 samples of bone fragments collected from six different sites of the mass grave will be sent to the radio carbon dating test. So far, two samples have been obtained. Other samples are to be collected today, Dr. Rajapaksa said.
He said the bone samples will be sent to a laboratory facility in Florida, USA for radio carbon testing.
The skeletal remains of 273 individuals have been systematically removed, and are currently sealed and placed in a special chamber at the Mannar Magistrate’s Court complex, Dr. Rajapaksa said.