Asia’s longest running civil-war, 25 years and counting, has come to end.
President Mahinda Rajapaksa had already declared victory over the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) the day before, and the military said the bulk of the fighting was over by the time the rebels said they had been beaten.
Even though there was little doubt about the final outcome of Asia’s longest modern war, sporadic battles were still being fought late on Sunday and no one was willing to predict when the last bullet would be fired.
“We are doing the mopping-up operations,” military spokesman Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara said. “Suicide cadres are coming in front of troops in the frontline and exploding themselves.”
Rajapaksa was due to make a formal victory announcement in parliament on Tuesday morning, but already flags were flying, people were dancing and lighting off fireworks in celebration.
The Tamil Tigers were founded in 1976 under the guise of creating an independent Tamil state in Northern Sri Lanka.