COLOMBO, Sri Lanka, Nov. 28 (UPI) -- Sri Lanka says it has begun a nationwide survey to determine how many people died in the civil war fought from 1983 until 2009.
The Department of Census and Statistics said in a statement about 16,000 workers will "assess the loss of human life and damage to property," Nidahasa News Service in Colombo reported Wednesday.
The survey, which began Wednesday, is expected to last six months. Residents of more than 14,000 villages will be asked for information on deaths, missing persons and property damage during the war.
Allegations of mass civilian deaths cast a cloud over the Commonwealth summit in the capital Colombo last month. The United Nations has estimated 40,000 people died in the final days of the conflict.
Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa claims no civilians died in the concluding months of the war and has rejected calls for an international investigation.