The remains of more than 150 people have been excavated to date in Matale. The skeletal remains were discovered late last year by workers carrying out excavations for a building at the Matale hospital.
Various theories abound as to what these remains are with some propounding that they are the bodies of victims of a small pox outbreak years ago, while others believe they may be those killed by a flood.
But other theories hold that the people died in a political context, as the Matale area was a centre of a late 1980s uprising by leftist Sinhalese group, the JVP. The group says this site could potentially be where some of its members may have been buried.
Dr Ajith Jayasena, the judicial medical officer in charge of the investigation has told Al Jazeera that the site “is a crime scene”, and bone samples will be sent abroad to find out when they died and soil analysis of the area is also being done and that no conclusions could be drawn until a detailed analysis of the skeletal remains is carried out.
Speaking further Dr Jayasena said “The real story behind the dozens of people found buried here can only be known with more comprehensive investigations,” he said.
He added that “evidence of decapitation, dismemberment and concealment” indicates that “crimes were committed. Another thing is the direction of the bodies and certain injuries indicate it is unlikely to be a routine burial site.”