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Sri Lanka's Genocidal War - '95 to '01
Mass Graves discovered in Duraiyappah Stadium in Jaffna...
"...As labourers sank the foundations for new changing rooms at the Duraiyappah stadium in northern Sri Lanka, their spades struck bones. Renovation of the stadium had been hailed as a sign that normality had returned to the Jaffna peninsula, the battle-scarred heartland of the Tamils. Instead, it exposed a secret atrocity in a 16-year-old conflict between the Sinhalese majority and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam that has claimed more than 50,000 lives.
The government has refused to say how many skeletons lie in the grave and has used armed police to keep relatives away. But as the battered skins of six oil drums were pulled back last week to reveal a pit a few feet across, horrified villagers clutching the identity cards of missing sons and husbands pressed forward to glimpse layers of skulls and broken vertebrae crushed into hardened clay 3ft below the turf.
Paramanthan Selvarajah was in the crowd. He said he was looking for his son, Pirapakaran, who disappeared in July 1996 at the age of 24 after being taken by the Sri Lankan army (SLA) as he rode home past a checkpoint in Jaffna. "I saw his bike lying behind a bunker and heard him crying inside," he said. "We never saw him again." Pirapakaran, a tailor, is among more than 12,000 predominantly Tamil civilians believed to have disappeared since the war began. (Cathy Scott-Clark and Adrian Levy reporting in the Times, 11 April 1999)