COLOMBO, May 13 (Xinhua) -- Hundreds of minority Tamils took part in events in Sri Lanka's former war torn north on Friday to remember the victims of the island's 30 year civil conflict.
Families of the war dead and those missing lit candles and took part in religious observances amidst heightened security.
The events which began on Friday, will be held for a week at different locations in the north and east with the final event set to take place on May 18, in Mullivaikal, where the final battle between government troops and Tamil Tiger rebels took place.
Government troops defeated the rebels in May 2009, ending years of conflict but international agencies have alleged that atleast 40,000 civilians were killed in the final stages of battle.
Northern Provincial Council member, M.K. Shivajilingham told reporters earlier this week that there was an attempt to block the remembrance events but the events would go ahead as planned.
Political sources said that security had been heightened in the north and east to prevent any individuals or groups from holding events which was seen as paying respects to the rebels who had been killed in the war.
State Minister of Defence, Ruwan Wijewardena said on Thursday that the police had been instructed to crackdown on events held in support of the rebels and legal action would be taken against anyone who had organized or taken part in such events.
Wijewardena said that while the government had no issued with events being held in support of the civilians killed during the war, it would not allow events to be held in support of the rebels.
He further said that the government would also hold events to commemorate the soldiers killed during the war with the main event to be held on May 18.