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DNA tests for Chemmani graves' victims
[17 February 2000]
     Attorney General's Department and the Criminal Investigation Department are to seek consent from family members and relatives of missing persons in the Jaffna peninsula to obtain blood samples for future DNA testing in connection with the Chemmani graves.

     The request is to be made to family members and relatives of those who went missing during 1996.

     State Counsel Yasantha Kodagoda said recently that DNA testing may be used to verify the identity of skeletal remains retrieved from Chemmani.

     Counsel Kodagoda said that testing is likely to be carried out in a laboratory overseas.

     Meanwhile, some 500 people are expected to take up an invitation made to relatives and family members of missing persons to attend the Jaffna Central School to identify items of clothing and other personal effects that were recovered alongside the 15 human skeletal remains recovered at Chemmani last year.

     The school will hold the items for inspection from February 21 to 25 inclusive. The identification process is to be supervised by Jaffna Acting Magistrate M. Elancheliyan. Representatives of the CID and the AG's department is also expected to attend the identification sessions.

     The skeletal remains recovered from Chemmani are now in the custody of the Galle forensic scientist Professor Chandrsiri Niriella. Professor Niriella has identified the cause of death 13 victims, with the other two victims apparently having received no injuries.


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