Fears have risen among the war-affected Tamils as skeletons and human remains were found in what is suspected to be another mass grave when pipes for water supply were being laid in Mullaitivu district.
“It is not just one or two skeletons, we could see more than that,” Thurairasa Raviharan, former member of the northern provincial council, told local journalists.
The remains were found on Thursday (29) evening when the water supplies department were laying pipes nearly 200 meters from the Kokkuthoduvai Mahavidhyalam toward Kokkilai while the nation is yet to come out of shock after the release of a damning report by 5 organisations identifying 20 mass grave sites in Sri Lanka.
Raviharan was one of the few informed by the OIC of the Kollilai Police and permitted to visit the spot and was told the find has been informed to the court and further action will be taken on instructions from the court.
“I was allowed to see the place. We could see some clothing and skeletons. Among the clothes, ladies’ garments could be seen. Going by the clothing, to me it seems it could be that of LTTE cadres. The bodies could be seen in around 2-3 meters area. Tomorrow I will be going there again when the Police and the judge come. The skeletons appear to be stacked one atop the other”.
The location is about 24-25 Km from Mullaitivu.
Raviharan says It is for sure that this place is not the LTTE cemetery locally known as ‘Maaveerar Thuyilum Illam’
“People were evicted from this place during the first week of December 1984 and were resettled only in 2011. More bodies could be there when further excavations take place”.
Thousands of Tamils surrendered to the military or handed over to the state security forces by their relatives were victims of enforced disappearance. Although the government formed an ‘Office for Missing Persons (OMP)’ by an act of parliament in 2016, not a single person went missing after the war has been found yet by the office.
The OMP also came in for sharp criticism in the remarks of the Deputy High Commissioner of Human Rights Council in Geneva in her oral presentation on the state of Human Rights in Sri Lanka during a periodic review on the 21st of June.
President Ranil Wickremesinghe in an interview with France 24 Television said, a Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) on the lines of South Africa will be formed and that commission would hear all war-related crimes which will have international observers.
Rights activists fear that the TRC would be another bid to avoid investigations into mass crimes allegedly committed during the last stages of the war and the Sinhala youth uprising in the late 80s.
Now, the discovery of skeletal remains in Kokkuthoduvai has raised further fears and concern among the Tamils who are searching for their near and dear ones as one of the longest peaceful protests led by women continues for over 2300 days seeking answers about their missing ones.