Projecting Sri Lankan Government’s defensive cover-up statement on the exhumation of human skeletal remains from the killing field of Mannaar at Maanthai without any journalistic scrutiny, the Press Trust of India (PTI) on Wednesday published a news report titled ‘mass grave in former LTTE stronghold’. The report featured an open lie by the Sri Lankan state that the killing field was under LTTE control for 30 years. The mass grave site, situated near Maanthai junction, has been under the control of the occupying Sri Lankan military and was also used as a rear site of the SL military that uprooted the Tamil people from the area. So far, 81 human skeletons have been exhumed from the killing fields. The exhumation is scheduled to continue for the 32nd time on 03 March.
The area was used as a rear site of the SL military and the Tamil families were all uprooted from the area in 1990 and resettled back after the end of Vanni war.
“With regard to the recovery of skeletal remains in Mannar it has been revealed that the area had been occupied by the LTTE for 30 years except during the period 1988/89 when it was occupied by the Indian Peace Keeping Force. Till the area was liberated in 2008 it was not under the control of the government of Sri Lanka,” the PTI report quoted attributing the statement to ‘an official statement’.
Mannaar Bishop Rt. Rev. Dr Rayappu Joseph has gone on record several times that he has no faith in Sri Lankan government investigation on the mass grave.
The government can’t go on with producing lies. We have lost faith in any local mechanism that investigates the killings. Instead, we need independent international investigation that has no political affiliation, and we should witness the investigation, the Bishop demanded at a special mass and prayer service held near the site on 12 February.
Both the Tamil political alliances, the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and Tamil National Peoples Front (TNPF), have also voiced for international investigations.
“Tamil leaders have said the victims could be members of the local Tamil community,” was the only sentence in the entire story that featured Sri Lankan government version without any scrutiny.