Specimens of human remains found in a mass grave in northern Sri Lanka will be sent to a beta analytic archaeological laboratory in the US to be dated, an official said on Thursday.

A special commission was appointed by Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa to investigate into the mass grave in Mannar where 80 skeletons have been uncovered so far.

Former Supreme Court judge S.I. Imam heads the presidential commission and outlined to reporters a plan to send samples of human remains to a lab in the US.

“We are considering the option of sending samples to a laboratory in Florida,” Xinhua quoted Justice Imam saying.

The commission has also commenced an inquiry in which 66 witnesses gave evidence earlier this week.

The mass grave was identified in December when construction workers were digging the ground.

The criminal investigation department is investigating the discovery and there is suspicion the remains may be of people killed by Tamil Tigers during the civil war in the island nation that ended in May 2009.

Most parts of Sri Lanka’s Tamil-dominated north were under the rebels’ control for the almost 30 years before they were defeated.

A UN panel and human rights groups had accused the Sri Lankan military and Tamil Tigers of committing war crimes during the final stages of the war.

The Northern Provincial Council had recently called for a UN-backed investigation into the mass grave in Mannar, but the government has refused to consider such a request.

Meanwhile, the police are also investigating another mass grave in central Sri Lanka where over 150 skeletal remains and bones were unearthed last year.