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'Lanka govt under western pressure to ignore war anniversary'

Press Trust of India  |  Colombo 

is under international pressure to ignore celebrating the seventh anniversary of its victory over the LTTE, former president Mahinda Rajapaksa's brother alleged today.

"When we were in government, ambassador's pressurised us not to celebrate the war victory", Basil Rajapaksa, younger brother of the then president Rajapaksa told reporters here.

"The government is not willing to celebrate the victory which liberated our country so that they can please the Western countries", Basil, who was also a former minister said.

The senior Rajapaksa is credited with ending the 30-year separatist campaign of the The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) who fought successive governments since the mid 1980's to carve out a separate Tamil homeland in the north and east.

Rajapaksa commandeered troops to defeat the LTTE in a successful military campaign which lasted for three years.

The anniversary falls on May 18 and the current government of Maithripala Sirisena has plans to celebrate it with a low key ceremony. During Rajapaksa regime it was celebrated widely.

The Tamil groups have plans to commemorate the dead with lighting of oil lamps at Mullivaikkal in the northeastern Mullaithivu the scene of the final battle.

First Published: Sat, May 14 2016. 19:57 IST