London: Sri Lanka blocked Tamils from commemorating their war dead, as the country held a victory parade on the fifth anniversary of the end of its civil war.

Lankan security forces in the north surrounded party offices and religious sites and blocked memorial ceremonies for Tamils killed in the separatist war.

According to the BBC, troops, military planes and paragliders featured in the victory parade in Matara, in Sri Lanka’s south, on Sunday.

Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa said the army had brought stability and freedom to Sri Lankans.

He added that the country was not celebrating victory in a war, but were celebrating peace irrespective of who opposes this, or who stays away, Lanka will always commemorate this day.

The ceremony was avoided by some Western diplomats, including the Canadian high commissioner who said Sri Lanka should focus on reconciliation.

The parade was criticised by some activist groups and Tamil lawmakers.

The National Peace Council, an activist group, said that no wise country celebrates war victory after a civil war.

It added that unfortunately in Sri Lanka, the political leadership continues to indulge in triumphalism celebrating the victory over the LTTE.

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