Bodies to be exhumed for further investigations
ACF workers killed in Mutur
The bodies of 17 Aid workers from the French Organization
Action Contre la Faim (Action Against Hunger), who were found shot
at close range last week in Mutur, will be exhumed for further investigation,
The Sunday Times learns.
|Bernoit Miribel addressing a news conference
at the UN office in Colombo on Friday
This was disclosed at a meeting held on Friday,
between officials of the Defence Ministry, the Australian High Commission
and other parties concerned.
Dr.M.Waidyaratne, Judicial Medical Officer of
Anuradhapura Hospital, who had conducted the post-mortem said that
the bodies had already started decomposing when they were brought
to the hospital. “There were injuries on the head and other
areas. I cannot say what kind of weapon had been used to kill them
as the matter is still under investigation”
The Sunday Times learns that although the initial
autopsy was conducted the lack of equipment and pressure from family
members to return the bodies for burial rites had hampered a thorough
Australian forensic experts will be overseeing
the examination which will be carried out by Sri Lankan doctors,
once the bodies are exhumed. ACF has been working in Sri Lanka since
1996. In Mutur they were carrying out projects regarding hygiene
and access to clean drinking water. They were also involved in helping
tsunami survivors in agriculture and other projects.
After the fighting erupted in Mutur these 17 aid
workers were assisting those who had been displaced in the fighting.
It had not been possible to evacuate them because of the heavy fighting
and their last call to their colleagues in Colombo had been on August
4. By August 7 the office here had got confirmation that 17 of their
members had been found dead in the premises of their Mutur office.
Meanwhile, Head of the ACF, Bernoit Miribel who
arrived from France visited Trincomalee yesterday to look into the
incidents as well as reassess their work there.