2ND LEAD (Adds audio from 4th March)

SL Police instructed to cover up investigations on Mannaar killing fields

[TamilNet, Monday, 21 March 2016, 23:33 GMT]
Colombo has instructed the Sri Lankan police officers in Mannaar to do their maximum to cover up further exhumation of the alleged killing fields at Thirukkeatheesvaram in Mannaar, informed sources told TamilNet on Monday. The SL Police officials are working hard to twist the facts that the exhumed remains were from a burial site while the two burial sites used by the villagers are situated far away from the mass grave site. In the meantime, Sri Lankan Special Criminal Investigation Department (CID) in Colombo is unnecessarily dragging the process of determining the institution outside the island to determine the characteristics of the victims who died, how they died and how long ago they died.

Three months have passed since the SL court in Mannaar instructed the Special CID to quickly determine the external institution from three Latin American countries, as there was no institution capable of conducting forensic anthropology in the island.

After the lawyers in Mannaar representing the families of missing persons in Mannaar repeatedly requested the Mannaar Magistrate Court, Judge A G Alex Raja instructed the CID to determine one of the institutions in Peru, Argentina, or Guatemala to carry out forensic anthropological analysis on the already exhumed 87 skeletal remains.

The instruction was given on 12 November 2015. Last time, when the case was taken up on 04 March 2016, the SL CID told the court that they had sent emails to the suggested institutions in Latin America and that they had not received any reply. The police was also telling that there was no other way of approaching the institutions, as these countries were not having their missions in Colombo.

The latest instructions to cover up further exhumation and dragging the process of determining a third party institution to conduct forensic analysis has come as the case is to be taken up again on 04th April.

The Magistrates Court in Mannaar has also urged the SL Attorney General’s Department to look into the possibility of appointing a State Counsel in an attempt to speed up the investigations, legal sources in Mannaar said.



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