Sri Lanka pays tribute to civil war victims

Bagpipes marked the 11th anniversary of the end of Sri Lanka's civil war on Tuesday (May 19).

The President Gotabaya Rajapaksa led the tribute to salute war victims killed in the conflict between Tamil Tiger rebels and the government.

But in the background of this anniversary, Sri Lanka continues to be under pressure to investigate allegations of human rights violations from the war.

"In a small country like ours where our war heroes have sacrificed so much, I will not allow anyone or (any) organisation to exert undue pressure on them and harass them," (said Rajapaksa).

The president and relatives of soldiers who died in the conflict laid wreaths at the monument where the names of over 28,000 soldiers and officers are engraved.

The UN (United Nations) and rights groups have accused the Sri Lankan military of killing thousands of civilians -- mostly Tamils -- during the final weeks of the war. And have pressed for justice for the families of those who disappeared.

Thousands of people were killed in the nearly three decades-long conflict and many of those fled or were forced from their homes in the north and east.