According to the evidence of District Medical Officer Dr C Kathirvetpillai, their throats had been slashed. The dead included three teenagers and five year-old Vilvarajah Prasath. The murders came to light after Ponnuthurai Maheswaran escaped from Army custody with serious injuries and informed relatives. In a letter to President Chandrika, Jaffna MP Mavai Senathirajah says that a woman’s body was seen partially buried in the area, leading to suspicions that there are other mass graves. Mr Senathirajah has urged the President to order further excavations in Mirusuvil. The police arrested an Army officer and six soldiers in late December. Five soldiers were identified in identification parades held in Point Pedro on 3 and 4 January.
More than 700 people disappeared in Jaffna in 1996 and 1997. The remains of 17 people were found buried at Chemmani in 1999. The Sri Lankan government has said that 765 complaints of disappearance had been received. Sixteen people were ascertained as killed in custody and 201 were said to be in prisons. The fate of 548 remains unknown. The UN Working Group on Disappearances urged the government in March, to abolish the Prevention of Terrorism Act and the Emergency regulations which facilitate disappearances. The government introduced new regulations in May, increasing the powers of the security forces.