Feature Article

British archaeologists, Indian contractors abet Colombo's concealment of mass graves in Jaffna

[TamilNet, Saturday, 21 July 2018, 21:44 GMT]
Human skeletons, including that of children, believed to belong to the massacred Eezham Tamils during the times of genocidal war, have been discovered at two separate locations in the city of Jaffna between 15th and 20th of July. At the Jaffna Fort, bones of a child along with a golden ring engraved with the initials ‘SA’ has been recovered. Following this discovery, the officials of Colombo's Archaeological Department have sent Tamil excavators home while allowing the Sinhala and the British excavators to proceed with the work. On Friday, another alleged mass grave discovered at Naayanmaar-kaddu in Ka'l'liyang-kaadu in Jaffna seems to be an extension of the Chemma'ni killing fields from the times of Chandrika Kumaratunga's genocidal rule of Jaffna in the mid-1990s.

Vairavar deity event at Jaffna Fort
Vairavar deity event at Jaffna Fort
Vairavar deity event at Jaffna Fort
Vairavar deity event at Jaffna Fort
Vairavar ritual at the archaeological site of Jaffna Fort on 17 July coincided with the discovery of human skeletons of alleged mass grave
Chemma'ni Road
Chemma'ni Road
The site of alleged mass grave at Naayanmaar-kaddu, Ka'l'liyang-kaadu, Jaffna could to be an extension of Chemma'ni killing fields of Jaffna from the times of Chandrika Kumaratunga waging genocidal wars on Eezham Tamils in mid 1990s
In an apparent move to dilute the focus of the academics and journalists in Jaffna, the Sinhala officials of Colombo's Archaeology Department started to allude that the human skeletons discovered inside the Jaffna Fort could be from the colonial times of the Dutch or the Portuguese.

At the same time, the SL Police has banned local media from accessing the site alleged mass grave at the Jaffna Fort raising the suspicions of the journalists.

Meanwhile, the British-led team of excavators also proceeded with a ceremonial marking of the cult of worshipping the deity of Vairavar associating it with the religious traditions of Eezham Tamils at the site of the excavations at the Jaffna Fort on Tuesday. This move came two days after the discovery of human remains. Tamil journalists were invited to cover that event.

Whether the British excavators promoting the ceremonial event with Saiva rituals was a smokescreen to conceal their sophisticated collaboration with Colombo's underlying paradigm of ‘Army and Archaeology,’ was a question raised by the Tamil observers in Jaffna.

The SL Police has instructed the Indian contractor engaged in installing the underground water tanks at Naayanmaar-kaddu in Ka'l'iyang-kaadu in Jaffna to suppress the news of the discovered traces of the mass grave.

The ‘National Water Supply and Drainage Board,’ which comes under the unitary mechanism of the occupying SL State has contracted the project to the Indian contractor.

Tamil residents of Naayanmaar-kaddu, following the discovery of the alleged massacre site on Friday, said that the SL Army was having a chain of camps and checkpoints in the area during the times of CBK rule.

The SL Police coming under the unitary state system has also suppressed the excavation of similar traces reported in Mu'l'ii at Ariyaalai East in 2015.

The families of abducted Eezham Tamils under CBK rule have been searching for their kith and kin for more than 22 years now.

Jaffna Municipal Council member Parthipan Varatharajah told TamilNet that the occupying Colombo and its police are acting to conceal the mass graves in Jaffna.

Somaratne Rajapakse, a former Sri Lanka Army (SLA) soldier, convicted in the brutal rape and murder of Jaffna schoolgirl Krishanthy Kumaraswamy, her mother, brother and a neighbour, had revealed during the investigations held in the past that he was aware of 18 grave sites in the Chemma'ni and Ariyaalai area in Jaffna. He had gone on record stating that he could identify ten specific locations and indicate the rough spots of five mass graves. The SL state cleverly sabotaged the investigations.

Recently, similar traces of skeletal remains found at the premises of the now dismantled Cooperative Wholesale Establishment (CWE) building at the entrance to Mannaar city, led to the discovery of another mass grave, extending the scale of the killing fields in Mannaar. The occupying SL military was using the CWE building in Mannaar from the times of CBK rule to the end of the genocidal war in 2009.

The SL police of the unitary state of genocidal Sri Lanka has been consistently dilly-dallying the process of forensic analyses of exhumed human skeletons from the mass graves.

The families of the enforced disappeared Eezham Tamils have been reiterating the need for credible, third-party forensic analyses to be conducted by an international actor or a foreign institution.

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