Further excavation into the Kokku Thoduvai mass grave site has been postponed again by three weeks.
The excavation is now due to start on November 20th, V.K. Niranjan Attorney representing the affected families, told the media outside the Mullaitivu court complex after a hearing on Monday (30).
“When the excavation was about to begin today since Prof. Raj Somadeva was unable to be present today, it was decided to restart the Kokkuthoduvai excavation again from the 20th “.
He further told the media the balance in the allocated budget for the excavation was also informed to the court. The court directed the officials to submit the account details to it.
Attorney Niranjan also said additional details about artefacts unearthed so far were requested by Prof. Raj Somadeva.
“An application was made on behalf of Raj Somadeva that details of materials other than human remains exhumed by Judicial Medical Officer Vasudeva were very much needed for him to submit his interim report”.
At this point, lawyers for the families of those affected had informed court about the importance of maintaining the Chain of Custody of exhumed material including remains.
The Mullaitivu court was also told about using advanced technology to explore further in and around the Kokkuthoduvai mass grave site. As such, an application was made on behalf of Prof. Raj Somadeva to look into the possibility of bringing in radar equipment that could find out if any human remains are buried within 50 meters.
After seeking complete details about this proposal, the applications were accepted by the court which directed a gathering of all concerned to take place at Kokkuthoduvai mass grave site on the 20th of November and further exhumation would commence on that date.
So far at least 17 skeletons have been recovered from the site, most of them suspected to be that of former LTTE Women cadres. Female clothing along with the body parts were also found at the site. The Kokkuthoduvai mass grave was accidentally discovered in June this year when water pipes were being laid in the Kokku Thoduvai-Kokkilai area.
The area is now under protection with CCTV cameras installed.