Sri Lanka’s government on Sunday marked the fifth anniversary of its victory over Tamil insurgents with a military parade in the south. President Mahinda Rajapaksa in a speech on Victory Day, dismissed international allegations that the military had killed thousands of innocent people, saying such claims were attempts to divide the country.
Minority ethnic Tamils said they had been banned from commemorating the deaths of their relatives five years ago in the final battle of a 26-year war with Sri Lanka’s military. Military spokesman Ruwan Wanigasooriya said families had not been barred from their rites, but some additional security had been established to maintain stability as some parties were trying to create what he described as an “unwanted situation”.
When Sri Lanka’s brutal civil war ended in May 2009 after raging for over two and half decades, it signaled the end of a long- running national nightmare. But, with many men killed, for thousands of women the war’s end meant a life of hardship.
Alongside the celebrations in Colombo a new report details cases, testimonies and new photograph evidence of LTTE cadres who surrendered at the end of the armed conflict, and were later found dead or remain missing. The report, “5 years on: The White Flag Incident 2009-2014″, published by ‘STOP’ part of the International Truth and Justice Project – Sri Lanka, includes new photographic evidence of the LTTE news anchor, Isaipriya, in Army custody, and the LTTE commander, Col. Vasanthan.
Al jazeera TV also broadcast an interactive document Beyond the beach: Sri Lanka, 5 years on as part of the campaign that is carried on to put pressure on the Sri Lankan Government to carry out an international investigation on the final phase of the conflict. The United Nations in March approved an international probe into the war crimes allegedly committed by both Sri Lankan state forces and Tamil rebels during the conflict, saying the government had failed to investigate properly.